An Experiment to Investigate a Variation of the Stroop Effect and How It Works on Non Colour Related Words. Essay Example

Pages: 6 (1901 words) Published: May 3, 2011
An experiment to investigate a variation of the Stroop effect and how it works on non colour related words. Abstract
The purpose of this experiment is to investigate a variation of the Stroop effect. The experiment will include non colour related words as well as colour related words and these words will be written in colours that are not related to the words written. There are 20 participants and they will be shown both conditions in different order and they are required to say the colour of the ink and not the words written. They will be timed as to how long it takes to say the correct colour. There will be 30 words on each condition. The results showed there was no significant effect on colour related words and non colour related words. Introduction

The stroop effect was an experiment which was first published in English in 1935 and the experiment was named after John Ridley Stroop. The experiment is a demonstration of the reaction time to the participants saying the colour that the word is written in rather than the colour that is the word. For example the word red would be printed in blue and the word blue would have been printed in red. The naming of the colour of the word would take longer than actually naming the word as the automatic response would be to name the word. (See Appendix 1 for a copy of word lists). So the participants would take longer as they need to pay more attention to the colour that the word is written in. The brain cannot process everything at one time. Poser suggests the size of the attention spotlight determines the amount of information processed (cited in Edgar, 2007). This is what is known as a controlled response. The experiment was conducted to measure people’s response times in saying the colour of the word written and not the worded colour. The participants were also given words written in coloured ink which were not related to the colour in any form. They were colour neutral words. Broadbent suggests there is a bottleneck where information is processed to determine what is necessary and what is not (as cited by Edgar, 2007). Senses are bombarded with several pieces of information at the same time and this is where the ‘bottleneck’ would come into play. As the brain cannot process all of the information at the same time it starts to back up. It could be considered to use the human mind as an information processing system. The mind doesn’t always relay the information that the participant requires. In this study the participant requires the colour of the ink and not the word. But the mind will automatically read what is written. When it is acknowledged by the brain that it’s the colour that’s required the perception changes. The rational for this experiment is to add a variation to the Stroop effect and show that the automatic processes can be changed when the behaviour of reading is automatic. The research hypothesis for this experiment is that the participants will take longer to complete the colour related names list than it would the colour neutral words. This is a one tailed hypothesis. The null hypothesis is that there will be no difference in the time taken to complete both lists. Method

A within participants design was undertaken for this experiment. The independent variable used was the order in which the stimuli was presented. Condition 1 was presented to the participants on odd rows (1, 3, 5, 8 etc) of the response sheet first and condition 2 was presented first for the participants on the even rows (2, 4, 6, 8 etc). This was first started with the participants selected by the Open University which the psychology student has carried on with. The dependent variable is that of the time taken for the participants to name the colours on the sheets. For each participant it was timed using a stop watch down to the nearest second as to how long it took them to name all the colours correctly on each stimuli. In order to control any differences both stimuli...
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