The Stroop Effect

2978 Words Sep 9th, 2008 12 Pages
Abstract
The aim of this experiment is to study autonomic processes by replicating the previously carried out Stroop effect by using numbers. A number of 180 random participants aged in between 18-89 were recruited to participate in this experiment. Participants were presented with a stroop experiment task sheet which consists of three parts which was the control, congruent and incongruent conditions. Time was taken and recorded for each participant to say out the number of stars in the control condition and to say out the number of numbers in the congruent and incongruent conditions. Based on the results, participants took a considerably longer time to say the number of number in the incongruent condition than in the congruent condition.
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Some research, though, seems to suggest that the processes behind word identification are not entirely automatic, they are to some extent avoidable. A study carried out by Kahneman and Henik (1979) supported this as they found that interference was greatly decreased when the colour name is in an adjacent location, rather than in the same location as the colour which participants are asked to name. Again though, this reduction in interference is due to the placement of the distracting word, not due to any effort by or ability of the participants.
However, evidence from a recent series of experiments conducted by MacLeod and Dunbar (1988) suggests that the processes involved in the Stroop task may have not been inadequate. In their experiment they taught participants to use color words as names for arbitrary shapes that actually appeared in a neutral color. After 288 trials where there was a 72 trials per stimulus, participants could perform this shape-naming task without difficulty. At this point, the effect that ink color had on shape naming was tested by presenting participants with conflicting and congruent stimuli for example, shapes colored to conflict or agree with their assigned names. Ink color produced large interference and facilitation effects. However, when the task was reversed, and subjects were asked to state the color of the ink in which the

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