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222222 The Stroop Effect Colin M. MacLeod* Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, C
333333 Practice and colour-word integration in Stroop interference
The Stroop effect is one of the best-known phenomena in experimental psychology and the one of the most widely studied paradigms for examining human selective attention. It has been reported by John Ridley Stroop in 1935 (Practice and colour-word integration in Stroop interference)
According to the article “The half a century….” by Colin M. MacLeod, Cattell reported that objects and colors took longer to name aloud than the corresponding words took to read aloud. It can be described because of the association between the idea and name has taken place so often that the process has become automatic, whereas in the case of colors and pictures we must by a voluntary effort choose the name. (MacLeod)
According to J.R Stroop, “it takes more time to name colors than to read color names (1935).” In addition, it is faster to name the color for congruent items than incongruent items. Congruent items include items such the word “red” in the color red; incongruent items include items such as the word “blue” in red ink. In a basic Stroop experiment, participants are provided with a list of congruent words and a list of incongruent words and are asked to name the color of the word or the actual word itself. Having a big Stroop effect indicates that one’s selective attention has failed. In Stroop’s original version of the experiment, results demonstrated that when participants were asked to name the color of the ink of an incongruent item, there was an increase in ink naming time. However, when the participants were asked to name the word, incongruence of the ink to the word did not have an effect on the amount of time it took to read it (Dunbar & MacLeod, 1984).
Stroop (1935) noted that observers were slower to properly identify the color of ink when the ink was used to produce color names different from the ink. That is, observers were slower to identify red ink when it spelled the word blue. This is an interesting finding because observers are told to not pay any attention to the word names and simply report the color of the ink. However, this seems to be a nearly impossible task, as the name of the word seems to interfere with the observer’s ability to report the color of the ink