Psychology Paper-Swoop Effect

Topics: John Ridley Stroop, Stroop effect, Psychology Pages: 8 (2612 words) Published: April 10, 2011

Interference has been a large topic of study and research in the psychology field. The purpose of this lab was to test interference using the “Stroop test”. University students were paired off and given the test to conduct, recording their accuracy and reaction time using a stop watch. The data was compiled and analyzed to check interference on colour identification when associated words were spelled out in a certain ink colour. It was found that words that had a greater associative bond had the greatest interference power when the subjects tried to identify the ink colours. It was concluded that conflicting word and colour stimuli’s increase the presence of interference. These results were discussed in terms of further experiments being conducted by other psychologists to see if practice or hypnosis can help reduce the reaction time when interference is present due to conflicting stimuli’s.


John Ridley Stroop came up with a study in 1935 that was used to study interference in serial verbal reactions. It has been hypothesized that words and information stored in the memory will cause interference when completing what is now called the stroop test. It has been shown repeatedly that when presented with a colour ink that spells out another colour different from the ink colour, subjects have great difficulty in identifying the ink colour (Stroop, J.R (1935). This process is called inhibition or interference in the brain. It is the result of one part of the brain dominating the response of other functional areas. This task of identifying ink colours that spell the names of another colour causes a delay in response, also causing a slower reaction time and an increase in mistakes. This experiment demonstrates this inhibition as well as shows that the brain cannot be trained to overlook these differences. It also demonstrates the automatic nature of a person’s brain that is used to just simply reading a word versus identifying a colour. The task of identifying an ink colour that spells out a certain word is difficult because humans have the tendency to read a word automatically versus identifying a colour. Reading is a task that is done everyday however we do not walk around and identify colours that are visible; it is stored and processed without much direct thought. It becomes difficult to turn off the automatic response of paying attention and reading the words as opposed to just identifying the ink colour. As well, this experiment done by Peterson (1918 and 1925) found that a certain response habit has become associated with each word while in terms of the actual colours themselves, a variety of response tendencies have developed. In this observation it is noted that naming colours would only be a problem if the words present have a previous colour association to the subjects. To a child that does not know how to read, naming colours would be easy. Or to a subject that does not have exposure to exotic fruits, if certain fruits were listed that the subject was not aware of, interference would not be much of a problem, especially if the subject had never heard the name before. Another great point was made by Kline (1921) when he did a study of interference and used material that would have meaning to his subjects. These included states, countries, books, authors and so forth. His experiment demonstrated that the greater the associative bond the greater the presence of interference would be. Also, Brown (1915) stated that the variance in speed when naming colours and reading words is not dependent on practice but rather the association process involved in naming a colour is completely different than the association process of reading a written word. Based on the results from Stroop (1935), Peterson (1918 and 1925), Brown (1915) and Kline (1921) I would hypothesize that in this experiment, interference would slow down the reaction time in identifying the ink colours whenever a word that has an...
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