Stroop Effect

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Exploring the Stroop Effect by using numbers
Abstract
The purpose of this experiment is to study automatic processes by replicating the previously carried out Stroop effect by using numbers. This experiment was conducted by recruiting 8 participants (4 males and 4 females), who are working in a head-office of Save the Children Organization in Yangon, selected by an opportunistic sample. Participants were presented with a Stroop-experiment-task sheet which consists of two parts which was the congruent and incongruent conditions. Time was taken and recorded for each participant to count the number of digits in the congruent and incongruent conditions. The results found that the participants took a significantly longer time to count the number of digits in the incongruent condition than in the congruent condition. This matches with the former research carried out by Stroop. Therefore, it can be concluded that the powerfully automatic nature of reading words is as same as reading numbers, as it is such a well-learned automatic activity it does interfere with other tasks. (Word count = 160)

Introduction
Attention is a system, which allows people to choose and process certain significant incoming information. According to Treisman (1964), selective attention means the ability to concentrate on one task at a time whilst rejecting any external stimuli, which may be diverting. But divided attention means the ability to separate ones attention between two or more tasks. If one of these tasks becomes an automatic process it becomes easier to separate ones attention between these two tasks. However, sometimes rather than being beneficial, interference can happen between the controlled process and the automatic process. Psychologists have often found that the strongly autonomic nature of reading words, as it is such a well-learned automatic activity can interfere with other tasks. This idea has been researched by a number of researchers. Healey (1976) conducted a research into how people automatically process frequently occurring words such as “of” in sentences and so find it harder to focus on module letters. She presented participants with a piece of English prose and asked them to read it and circle all the t’s in the paragraph. Participants frequently missed out the t’s in common words such as “the” and more easily identified the t’s in more uncommon words. This shows that people acknowledge high frequency words such as “the” as whole units rather than by their individual letters, so automatically process them. This powerfully autonomic nature of reading words is also obvious in the following research carried out by “Stroop”. Stroop (1935) carried out a study into autonomic processing, by devising the Stroop effect. In this, he asked participants to read a list of colour words written in black ink. This, obviously a very simple task was uncomplicated and easy for the participants to achieve. Following this, participants were requested to read a list of colour words written in incompatible colored inks, (e.g., the word “red” written in blue colour ink) and to call out the colour ink the words were written in. Although this task seems very simple at first and is only matter of simple colour identification, Stroop found that it took the participants considerably longer to accomplish this task than the previous. The reason is that the powerful autonomic (unconscious) nature of reading words meant that participants automatically wanted to read the words rather than the colour ink they were written in. Thus, even though the participants didn’t often read the colour word out loud, there was a time delay even as the participants thought of the correct response (the color ink). In this piece of research, there is the aim to carry out a modification on the experiment on automatic processes carried out by Stroop and to find out whether the results keep up a correspondence. The experimental hypothesis is that the length of time...
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