Essay on Stroop Effect: Color Wording and Cognitive Interference

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The ability for adaptive behavior and the conditions that affect it has been a central area of research for psychologists since its inception. When behaviors are learned they become automatic processes. Automatic processes can be described as behavior that is not particularly motivated by the avoidance of error because a person no longer has to consciously think about the next piece of desired information. Automatic processes occur with less effort and error, whereas controlled processes need to occur with a person’s full attention. Controlled processes require conscious decisions to perform tasks and can be error-prone. Tasks such as walking, writing, and reading are examples of automatic processes that do not recognize an error until …show more content…
This gives psychologists an understanding of the brain and its adaptive processes under interference. The effect of interference on cognitive processes has been studied to find a correlation between automatic and controlled processes. A study by Klein (1964), on how word meaning influences color naming has been attacked from a host of different angles (MacLeod 1991). His goal was to understand the sources of the word's interfering effect in color naming and the processes involved in that interference (MacLeod 1991). The stimulus Klein used were the manipulation of four words to four ink colors presented on cards. His independent variables included, color words, common words, and unpronounceable nonsense syllables. Klein had recorded reaction times for the stimulus cards and his findings resulted in color words that averaged 81.5 s, common words (e.g. “put”, “heart”, “take”) averaged at 56 s, and unpronounceable nonsense syllables (e.g. “hjh”, “evgjc”) averaged at 49 s. Unpronounceable nonsense syllables might be unfair to use for the experiment because this stimuli is more discernible when in comparison to pronounceable and common words. A more efficient control group can be pseudo words such as English words that follow pronunciation rules and are word-like. In 1977, Redding and Gerjets repeated the Stroop Effect by presenting the stimuli on a tachistoscope, one at a time. Their goal was to explain pre-experimental

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