Carrying out a stroop effect experiment

It has been proposed that it is difficult to control automatic processes as they were unconsciously carried out. This meant that they could intrude on other tasks. The Stroop Effect looked at how automatic processing would interfere with colour identification. It was discovered that identifying ink colour was made more difficult when looking at a list of colour related words than when looking at colour neutral words and so

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Find out more

This experiment attempted to study automatic processing by using a variation of the Stroop Effect test. 22 Participants were given two lists of 30 words. On each list, six words were repeated five times in varying colours. The Condition 1 (appendix 2) list contained incongruent words, whilst the Condition 2 list (appendix 3) contained congruent words. Half of Participants were tested on Condition 1 first, followed by Condition 2. The other half began the test with Condition 2, followed by Condition 1. The time each Participant took to name the colour ink the words were printed in was recorded and measured (See appendix 1 for results). (158-100)


A great deal of the way that people perceive things involves automatic processing. This occurs outside of the conscious mind and so requires no effort. It has been found, however, that some level of interference between the automatic and controlled processes can happen. Information from the senses and from that already stored in memory has to be processed from a cognitive system that has a limited capacity. Reading is an automatic process and recognising a colour is a controlled process. Putting both together should cause interference in the ability to both read and recognise the colour of the ink the words are printed in. The general idea of automatic processing interfering with other tasks has been researched by many psychologists.

Shneider & Shiffrin (1977) set up an experiment in which participants had to memorize a set of numbers or letters and then find those numbers or letters in a much larger set. It was found that it was much easier to recognise a number in a set of letters (Or the reverse), than it was to recognise a number in a set of numbers or a letter in a set of letters.


The rationale for this experiment was to test another variation on the stroop effect. The experimental hypothesis was that the time taken to name the ink colour on the condition 1 list of incongruent words would be longer than that of the time taken to name the colour ink on the condition 2 list of congruent words. The null hypothesis was that there would be no difference in time taken for the two conditions. (-500)

Method (657)


The experiment employed a within-subjects design. This design was chosen because the same participants were used in both conditions. The independent variable was the colour ink the words were printed in. Two lists of 30 words were provided (Appendix 2 & 3). The 30 words on each list consisted of 6 words repeated 5 times in varying colours. Each participant was asked to name the colour ink each word was printed in, in as fast a time as possible. On the condition 1 list of incongruent words, the words listed all had a relation to a colour. For example, the word sky has a relation to the colour blue. The words were printed in a colour removed from that with which they were normally associated. The condition 2 list contained congruent words and the words had no particular relation to a colour. The dependent variable was the length of time taken to name the colour ink each word was printed in. A measure was taken of the time participants took to name the colour ink of all the words printed on the list. Times were taken for condition 1 and for condition 2. The time was taken in seconds using a stopwatch and the length of time it took each participant to complete the entire list to the nearest second was noted.

In order to reduce the possibility of any confounding variables, half of the participants began with condition 1 and half with condition 2. Individual times were then noted on the response sheet to later be compared with results from the other condition.


The materials that were used in this experiment were made up of 2 cards containing lists of 30 words. The 30 words were made up of 6 words repeated 5 times in varying colours. (Appendix 2 & 3) A stopwatch, consent forms and a response sheet were also used.


Participants were fully informed about what the study would involve and were given the opportunity to withdraw if they wished. They were told that the study would involve a variation of the Stroop Effect and that they would be required to name the colour ink the words were printed in, in as quick a time as possible. They were made aware that the study was looking at the effects of interference between automatic and controlled processing. The possible effects of driving whilst using a mobile phone was used as an example in helping them understand the underlying reasons behind the study. They were informed that all resulting data would be anonymous and that no names would be given on the response sheet or to anybody else. All participants agreed to take part in the study and signed a consent form.

Participants were placed in a well lit, quiet room and shown a set of instructions that told them****************** When they were ready to commence the test the participants turned over a sheet of card containing either Condition 1 or Condition 2 words. The sheet of card had been placed on a table, upside down in front of them. They began reading the list of words given and were timed to measure their individual performances. When the first test was complete, the participants were given a two minute break before the second test commenced. Half of the participants began with the Condition 1 list and half began with the Condition 2 list.

Include how responses were recorded and mention the debriefing of participants.

Redo data as have not put in time chart difference between starting condition 1 first or condition 2 first.


As this was a within-subject design, a paired-samples t-test was used to analyse the data. The analysis showed a t value of 3.78 (To 2 sig figures). This positive result showed*****************************

Mean SD= 4.945

T=3.774 df=21 p=.001

D= 0.65 (To 2 sig figures) This shows that the independent variable had a medium to high effect on the dependent variable.

The data showed that the mean for condition 1 was higher than the mean for condition 2.

The standard deviation of time that was taken to complete the two lists was compared and the difference calculated at 0.53. This showed*********************


There was an increase in the time it took participants to read condition 1 over condition 2. This confirms previous research and is supportive of the experimental hypothesis. It was observed that participants appeared to show a much greater degree of concentration when completing condition 1 than in condition 2. Whilst when completing the condition 2 part of the study it appeared, even without considering the time taken, that participants found it much easier and it did indeed appear to be a much more automatic process than condition 1. Some errors were made, although very few. Those that were made, but not noticed by the participant showed that in the real world, the interference between automatic and controlled processing could have quite detrimental affects. An example of this would be in the case of*****************

Find out how can help you!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

Reading appeared to be such a deeply rooted, automatic process that even when attempting to relay the ink colour the word was printed in, participants appeared to have to make an extra effort to stop themselves from reading the words themselves.


Most Used Categories

EssayHub’s Community of Professional Tutors & Editors
Tutoring Service, EssayHub
Professional Essay Writers for Hire
Essay Writing Service, EssayPro
Professional Custom
Professional Custom Essay Writing Services
In need of qualified essay help online or professional assistance with your research paper?
Browsing the web for a reliable custom writing service to give you a hand with college assignment?
Out of time and require quick and moreover effective support with your term paper or dissertation?