Feedback Stress: Does Auditory Feedback Negatively Affect Performance on a Stroop Task?
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The Stroop Effect
In his historic study, Stroop found that reading names of colors interfered with individuals’ ability to name the ink color the word was printed in when the two differed (i.e., the word “BLUE” written in red ink) (1935). However, the basis of this phenomenon can be traced back to Cattell who found that naming colors and pictures took twice as long to accomplish than reading the word these colors or pictures represented (1886). He concluded that this was due to reading being an automatic process while identifying colors or pictures requires a conscious effort (Cattell, 1886). MacLeod (1991) reflects that it was Cattell’s work which strongly influenced future psychologist including Stroop.
In his experiment, Stroop…show more content… In the third and final part of his experiment, Stroop (1935) examined how practice could impact reaction times. Over a two week period, participants practiced various tasks which used colored words, names of colors and colored blocks. It was found that practice decreased reaction time when naming ink color when it conflicted with the name of the color (i.e., answering “RED” for BLUE) and that such interference could disappear if newly established (Stroop, 1935). The second discovery during this part of the experiment was that reaction times for reading the name of the color and naming the ink color were almost equal at the end of the practice period (Stroop, 1935). Even though this resulted in a significant increase in reaction time for reading the name of the color (i.e., saying “BLUE” for BLUE), Stroop concluded that this equaling of reaction times signified that the interference between the automated process of reading and the conscious process of naming the ink color could disappear with practice (1935).
Over the years, several experiments and tests have been devised to study how the Stroop Effect could manifest itself in ways other than reading colored words. One such example was an experiment conducted by Shor who used auditory stimulus to provoke a Stroop-like event (1975). In his study, participants listened to a recording of an individual either with a deep bass voice or a high falsetto voice saying the words “high” or “low”