Attention Interference, Automatic Processing, and the Stroop Effect

2119 Words May 24th, 2011 9 Pages
The experiment tests whether conflict takes place between the automatic process of reading a word and the controlled process of naming the ink colour of the word by replicating a version of the Stroop effect.
A sample of 20 volunteering participants, 10 men and 10 women, aged 18-69, took part in the experiment. Participants were given two conditions, one list with colour-related distractor words and one list with colour-neutral words. For each participant, time necessary to name the ink colour of the list of words was recorded per condition.
The results showed that participants named the ink colours of neutral words faster than of colour-related distractor words ( Overall alpha level was .011). Therefore, we can say that participants’
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Word meaning is processed involuntarily thereby slowing down colour naming as attention is divided. The Stroop effect was retested by using a list of semantically-related distractor words instead of colour words and a list of colour-neutral words. The one-tailed hypothesis is that reaction time between stimulus and response will be longer when colour-related words are in a colour that is incongruent with the word. The null hypothesis is that there will be no difference in the reaction time for the two lists.

METHODS
Design
The experiment had a within-participant design. The dependent variable was the total time taken in seconds to name the colour of the ink of the 30 words in the list and was measured to the nearest second by the experimenter with a stopwatch. The independent variable was represented by two conditions which consisted of two lists of words with repeated colour scheme; one list with the incongruent distractor words and one list with colour-neutral words. In the experimental condition participants had to name the ink colour of colour-related distractor words which were incongruent with the words. In the control condition participants had to name the ink colour of colour-neutral words which were incongruent with the words.
The conditions were counterbalanced to avoid order and practise

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