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Eliminating Stroop 1 Running Head: ELIMINATING STROOP

Eliminating Stroop Affect: Reversing an Automatic Process Emily Caballero Goucher College

Author’s Note: Worked with Blair Shevlin, Lindsay Crouch, Hana Pape, Katelyn Beury.

Many different studies have been done based off of the original Stroop Effect reading test. The test uses three conditions: control. . The Stroop Effect has never been successfully eliminated. congruent. hoping that the participants would learn to recognize the circles color instead of reading the words. The Stroop Effect is a good way to demonstrate an automatic process versus a controlled process and to show interference. This experiment tried to eliminate the Stroop effect by placing the words in colored circles.Eliminating Stroop 2 Abstract John Ridley Stroop first performed the Stroop Effect in 1935. The Stroop Effect is a reading test proving that reading has become an extremely automatic process in our brains. and incongruent. The participants’ are measured for their accuracy and speed.

The participants usually have a slower reaction time with the incongruent condition and a quicker reaction time with the control. Martin... “Reading words is considered to be automatic. . Participants read names of colors printed in colored ink not corresponding to their meaning. Moreno-Íñiguez. Macleod (1991) explains that the effect is demonstrated by a reading test. A control would also be performed without words to measure the speed of color recognition versus the congruent. Martin. Moreno-Íñiguez. & Zhu.Eliminating Stroop 3 Overview of Stroop According to Macleod (1991) John Ridley Stroop first performed the Stroop effect in 1935. the congruent condition. S. 2007 p. The incongruent is when the name of the color and the ink it is printed in are different. (2007).. 2005 p. The participant’s reaction time is measured when the color and word correspond to each other.e. claim that this task proves that reading is an automated process versus a controlled one and the Stroop Effect is said to be the ultimate test of an automated process. & Zhu.. 331).. H. Although according to O’Brian Quinn. E. H. & Quinn. L. green. Raz. 183 ) young children do not shows signs of the Stroop Effect.. M. which is the measuring the speed of word recognition.. The participant would try to name the color of ink instead of reading the color written.. M. A. a proficient reader cannot withhold accessing word meaning despite explicit instructions to attend only to the color in which the words are printed “( cited from Raz. A. The experiment’s results prove that words are easily recognized and reading for most adults has become a fairly automated process. i. P. L..

“ Research on the Stroop effect continues today and shows no signs of abating. indeed. congruent. H. The control had colored circles containing X’s. control. two of the subjects were prospective students visiting the college. Materials The materials used for this experiment were three sheets displaying each of the three conditions.. Four colors were used: red. blue.. over 700 different experiments have been conducted around the Stroop Effect. green. One of the subjects was color-blind (had trouble with red and green) but was able to recognize the correct colors even if it took him a little longer. Most were Goucher College students. A stopwatch was used to measure the participants’ reaction time for all three tests.Eliminating Stroop 4 Macleod ( 1991) states that since Stroop’s experiment was first printed in a psychology journal in 1935. The congruent condition sheet had colored circles with the corresponding color written inside. however. 131) state that the only way found to completely eliminate the Stroop Effect is hypnotism. The incongruent condition had colored circles with a different color written inside. The subjects were between the ages of 17 and 20. .. and incongruent. A.2007 p. Method Participants 19 students participated in this study.. Each sheet had the colored word or symbol in a circle of the same color. & Zhu. it seems to be on the increase” (cited from Macleod . L. There were twenty circles on each page. Moreno-Íñiguez. Martin. and yellow. M. 1991 p. (Raz.521).

The data proves Stroop’s hypothesis that the congruent will have less reaction time than the incongruent condition. They ignored the words inside the circle whether they corresponded to the circle’s color or not. The participants read the control first then congruent and finally incongruent. The Stroop was not eliminated but the effect was demonstrated quite nicely in the experiment. The participants were timed for their speed for each condition and checked for accuracy as well.Eliminating Stroop 5 Procedure Participants read each condition and said the color of the circle or word in each test. The process took about 2 minutes per participant. Reaction Time RT Control RT Congruent RT Incongruent . Results These results show the Stroop effect.

Eliminating Stroop 6 Mean Accuracy 1 2 3 Mean Reaction Time 1 2 3 .

.Eliminating Stroop 7 Results of the T Test P Value (Control to Congruent) P Value (Control to Incongruent P Value (Congruent to Incongruent) 3.02107E-05 0.011860968 3. The P Value determines that the data did not occur due to chance.04301E-06 The T Test is designed to evaluate the data and make sure that the participants were not guessing and the results did not occur due to chance.

57 9. Since reading is an automatic process.5 11.95 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.72 11. If the Stroop Effect was eliminated the congruent and incongruent should be the same.72 8.22 12.7115789 12.1 11.25 8.94 6.03 7.09 9.62 10 6.79 10.16 10.694210 47 53 ACC Control 0.72 9.59 10.63 9. The problem with this is that to look at the circles without reading the words inside would be a controlled process.41 7.15 15.25 10.9934120 53 Discussion The hypothesis for the Stroop Effect is that the reaction time will be fastest for the congruent condition and slowest for the incongruent condition.66 11.41 12. .94 8.95 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.78 11.Eliminating Stroop 8 Raw Data Reactio n Time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Averag e RT Control 12.1 8.43 10.5 12.22 9.13 11.56 11.31 8. The hypothesis for this particular experiment was that the participants would learn to look at the circles instead of the words.84 11.18 11.07 14.12 10.154210 53 RT RT Congruent Incongrue nt 7.59 12 9.37 17.18 10.37 9.875 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.5 8.09 18.16 18.81 12.94 8.62 13.06 8.31 11.03 18.59 6.03 9.88 7.29 12.11 8.38 11. In this experiment the Stroop Effect was clearly displayed.5 14. but not completely eliminated.12 13.9947368 42 ACC Congrue nt 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ACC Incongrue nt 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.

since reading is automated or a sub-conscious process the reading will be faster than the color naming. Larry L. color naming is not as important as reading so there is no reason for someone to become automated in color naming. E. H.. In the world we live in. F. M. ( 1994) when these two different tasks are being performed at the same time there is going to be some interference. Moreno-Íñiguez. Verbruggen. (2007) argue that once a process has become automatic it almost always cannot be reversed without altering the mind in ways such as hypnotism. A. According to Stephen. If a participant practiced color naming until it became automatic then the Stroop might be eliminated.Eliminating Stroop 9 looking at the circles is going to be slower than reading. make more errors. (2005) explains why even a process a simple as naming colors would have such a big difference in reaction time compared to reading: “In order to explain why participants do not give more premature responses. W. many researchers assume that there is an inhibitory mechanism to keep the automatic response activation under control”. The problem is that color naming is a controlled process and reading is an automatic process. Martin... & Zhu. and. L. Notebaert.. Raz. consequently. Past research has shown that the Stroop effect has yet to be eliminated in practiced readers. . Lindsay & Jacoby. & Soetens.. Since reading is an automated process and color naming is a controlled process.

November 17.. 183. Retrieved November 15. 32(3).. Macleod. 642-658. & Quinn. Retrieved November 17. from the PsycARTICLES database. Verbruggen. F.. troop Process Dissociations: The Relationship Between Facilitation . 521-524. from the PsycARTICLES database. 17(2). (1991). P. 2009. 16(2). A sequential analysis of relevant and irrelevant . European Journal of Cognitive Psychology.. Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal. Cognitive Architecture. PsycINFO database. H. and Response Time: . Raz. John Ridley Stroop Creator of a Landmark Cognitive Task . & Nitkin-Kaner. November 15.. L.. . 2009. J. Psychological Science. 331-338. November 15. D. Suggestion overrides the Stroop effect in highly hypnotizable individuals. E. Individual Differences Research. Kirsch. M. L. Canadian Psychology. (2005). & Jacoby. (2005). 2009. D. Retrieved November 17.. Pollard.. 23(5). Martin. 20(2). & Logan. A. 2009. Moreno-Íñiguez. Stephen.. M. Process Dissociation. I. Notebaert. 2009. ). (2007). The Stroop Interference Effect in Young Children: A Developmentally Appropriate Approach. 17(5). Journal of Experimental Psychology:. 91-95. L. W. & Zhu. 1561-1578 . & Soetens. C. 219-234.. O’Brian Quinn. Suggestion Reduces the Stroop. A. PsycINFO database. (1994). S. E. A. Raz. 2009. (1994).. L. P. MEDLINE database.. Retrieved November 15. 2009. Y. (2006). G.Eliminating Stroop 10 References Hillstrom.. 3. from the PsycARTICLES database. Journal of Experimental PsychologyHuman Perception and Performance.

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