What Is Stroop Effect All about - Essay Example

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The paper "What Is Stroop Effect All about" discusses that if a person, such as a young child, has yet to learn to read or is learning a new language other than in what the colors are written, but is able to recognize colors, they will be unable to experience the Stroop effect. …
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What Is Stroop Effect All about
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Stroop Effect
The Stroop Effect, named after John Ridley Stroop, who originally discovered the effect, is the visual phenomenon that involves the name of a color being printed in a color that is not the same as the name indicated, therefore being more difficult to name the word that is written. As per example, if the word “pink” were typed in the color green, it would take longer for the viewer to announce that the color is “pink” then it would be for them to announce the color as “pink” if it were written in that same color.
According to John Ridley Stroop and various researchers, many possibilities have been considered that might explain why the Stroop effect phenomenon occurs. The most widely accepted reason is that when two parts of the brain receive incompatible information, it has trouble trying to figure out what is happening (Stroop, 1935). There is an interference in the brain as it tries to process and make sense of the contradictory information that it receives. If a person is given a list of words that are printed in colors that are unlike their words and then asked to name them, the viewer experiences a delayed reaction time as their brain tries to quell the details from the typed words while it tries to focus on the color of the words.
If a person, such as a young child, has yet to learn to read or is learning a new language other than in what the colors are written, but is able to recognize colors, they will be unable to experience the Stroop effect. For those that do know how to read, they are unable to read the word and decide the color at the same time. A child that cannot read does not have the interference of knowing what the word says, so their brain does not have the problem of processing the proper color of the written word. An adult, or a child that does know how to read, is unconsciously trying to accomplish two things at once -- reading the word and deciding its true color.
The Stroop effect test is a very common test in the psychological field, though it is also used to simply see how long it takes for a person to distinguish the color of the word from the word itself. In psychology, the Stroop effect is used on people who have had injury to their brains, or just to see how someone else’s brain functions (MacLeod, 1991). While most people do struggle with the test, there are some that are able to do the test without any difficulty. A small amount of people are capable of distinguishing the color of the word from the word itself, based on what the test is asking for.
Since its initial discovery, the Stroop effect has been modified to explore different phenomena. Numbers have been adapted into the testing, though the basic idea behind the test remains. As per example, three words may be displayed that all read “two”, and the subject would have to select a button that displays the proper number of words. Another test has been designed to be used on people that are able to perceive colors when seeing certain numbers and letters. In this specific experiment, a letter or number is shown to the subject in a color other than what they would normally perceive; they would have a delay in deciding on what color the character really is. Other varieties of the test are still being designed to test different areas of the brain in people with different abilities.
MacLeod, C.M. (1991). Half a century of research on the Stroop effect: An integrative
review. Psychological Bulletin, vol. 109 (2), 163-203.
Stroop, J.R. (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of
Experimental Psychology, vol. 18, 643-662. Read More
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