Stroop Effect CogLab Report
The Stroop effect is a test that demonstrates a decrease in reaction time that occurs when the brain receives conflicting information. When sensory information conflicts, a processing delay occurs in the brain; this is interference. If a specific color is paired with its corresponding word then those two pieces of information are compatible. If the information conflicts then the individual is forced to make a decision.
It is hypothesized that reaction times will be lower when the word and font color are the same and reaction times will increase when the word and font color are different. Method
A total of 20 undergraduate students participated in this experiment; 18 were women and 2 were men. Materials
Students used CogLab, an online laboratory used as part of a cognitive psychology class, to complete the Stroop Effect task. Procedure
Participants were asked to identify the color of each word as quickly as possible. The reaction times were measured and analyzed to compare the difference between words and colors that match and words and colors that mismatch. Results
A paired-samples t-test was used to analyze the data. When font color mismatched, participants had significantly longer reaction times (M = 881.74, SD = 200.90) than when font color matched (M = 774.37, SD = 230.23), t(19) = 4.62, p < .001. Discussion
The results supported the initial hypothesis; in mismatched conditions reaction time increased. The Stroop effect is a selective attention task; it shows us about how our brains process information. When presented with conflicting stimuli, participants had to react to both sets and make a decision. Reading is an automatic process. The presence of the mismatched colors interfered with participants’ ability to react and properly identify the correct word. The Stroop effect shows us that automatic processes like reading, more strongly impact attention.