Re-examination of the stroop effect

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The following paper demonstrates the impact of interference when words are written in different colours from their meanings. The experiment re-examines the same phenomenon that was identified by J. R. Stroop in his classic 1935 experiment, commonly known as the Stroop effect. Participants were separated into groups and asked to name the colour of coloured patches (CNI), read black colour words (WNI), name the colour of incongruently coloured words (CI) and read incongruently coloured words (WI). It was hypothesised that an increase in time would occur when participants were asked to complete task CI. Results indicated this to be the case, thus both replicating the findings of Stroop and supporting the hypothesis. This effect can be attributed to the automatisation and the faster mental processing of reading, as opposed to that of naming colours.

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Interference is present everyday in the lives of millions of people as they go about their daily business; it occurs when one piece of information stops or obscures the mental processing of another. On any given day huge amounts of interference are processed by the mind, however people seem to be able to cope quite effortlessly with the task. Therefore in order to better understand this situation, empirical studies were called for.

J. M. Cattell was the first to identify that that the naming of objects and colours took longer than the naming corresponding words. He concluded that the connection between a word and the corresponding idea, had taken place so many times that it had become automatic (Cattel, 1886, in McLeod, 1991). However it was to be another 50 years until this observation was further developed.

In 1935, J.R. Stroop set out to do just this by creating an experiment where interference's effects could be clearly observed and therefore better analysed. In order to accomplish this he instructed participants to read co

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