Experiment Into the Impact of Automatic Processing on Identifying Ink Colour on Colour Related and Colour Neutral Words

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Experiment into the impact of automatic processing on identifying ink colour on colour related and colour neutral words
Abstract
It has been proposed that automatic processing, unlike controlled processing, has a lower cost on the resource pool which is beneficial when process several channels of information. This could however have a cost on completion of some tasks because overlearned actions by their nature are difficult to cognitively control. This quantitative study focuses on whether automatic processing relating to overlearned actions can interfere with correctly identifying the colour ink of a printed word. The results showed that naming the ink colour took longer when the word was colour related.
Introduction
It has been
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In this experiment the dependent variable, the time taken to respond, was measured by the researcher and recorded in a results sheet to the nearest second. This ensured that the stimuli were matched for both conditions. The same instructions were read by the researcher to the participants before each condition commenced.
Participants
Of the 20 participants in this experiment 16 were friends and family of Open University colleagues and an additional 4 participants worked from a software company. None of these participants were aware of the hypothesis in question, nor were they well versed in physiological terms and studies. The age range across the participant group was between 18 and 69. The split between sexes was 12 female to 8 male participants.
Apparatus and Materials
The experiment utilised two lists containing 30 words of between 3 and 6 character length. The first list (marked as condition 1) contained words with colour connotations (e.g. grass and blood). The second list (marked as condition 2) acted as the control and used words which had no direct colour connotations (e.g. ledge and sty). The words within the lists were coloured in one of 5 inks (red, green, orange, purple and yellow) and although the order in each of the lists was random the word length and first letter of each word corresponded (i.e. S for sky in condition 1 and S for sty in condition 2). Each sheet was printed with the same paper, font style and size – 36pt Arial on standard

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