Psychological report on the Stroop effect
By Thomas Silk
The aim of this experiment is to study autonomic processes by replicating the previously carried out Stroop effect by using numbers.
My hypothesis was that participants will be slower to properly identify the colour of ink when the ink used to produce colour names different from the ink. That is, observers were slower to identify red ink when it spelled the word blue.
A number of 20 random participants aged in between 17-18 were recruited to participate in this experiment. Participants were presented with one condition for 10 participants and a second for the other 10.The first condition had the words of colours and were ...view middle of the document...
To explore properties of automatized behaviours cognitive psychologists often put observers in a situation where an automatized response is in conflict with the desired behaviour. This allows researchers to test the behind-the-scenes properties of automatized behaviours by noting their influence on more easily measured behaviours. This demonstration explores a well-known example of this type of influence, the Stroop effect.
The Stroop Effect was first reported by John Ridley Stroop in 1935, and looks at how our brains process words. We process these letters so quickly that we struggle to be able to say the colour rather than the word
Stroop (1935) noted that observers were slower to properly identify the colour of ink when the ink was used to produce colour names different from the ink. That is, observers were slower to identify red ink when it spelled the word blue. This is an interesting finding because observers are told to not pay any attention to the word names and simply report the colour of the ink. However, this seems to be a nearly impossible task, as the name of the word seems to interfere with the observer's ability to report the colour of the ink. A common explanation for the Stroop effect is that observers (especially college undergraduates) have automatized the process of reading. Thus, the colour names of the words are always processed very quickly, regardless of the colour of the ink. On the other hand, identifying colours is not a task that observers have to report on very often, and because it is not automatized it is slower. The fast and automatic processing of the colour name of the word interferes with the reporting of the ink colour. The Stroop task, and its many variations, are a commonly used tool in cognitive psychology to explore how different types of behaviours interact. This demonstration allows you to participate in a simple version of the Stroop task. The actual words have a strong influence over your ability to say the colour of the words. The interference between the different information (what the words say and the colour of the words) your brain receives causes a problem.
Stroop's research originated from James McKeen Cattell (1886), who found that responding to objects and colours took longer to read aloud than words. The association between the name and idea took place so frequently that it became an automated process. Unlike with pictures and colours, an intentional effort had to be made. The Stroop effect was used to discredit the theory of controlled and automatic processing by Schneider and Shiffrin (1977). Their theory concluded that controlled processing was slower than automatic. Also, once a task was automated it could be done with no conscious effort, and this would affect all other activities. Sheibe, Shaver and Carrier (1967) found that if the word was congruent, it would be identified quicker than if it was incongruent. This also supports for Stroop's investigation (1935). However, all prior...