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IA stroop effect

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IB Psychology Standard Level Internal Assessment - The Stroop Effect - The Effect of Interfering Colour Stimuli Upon Reading Names of Colours Serially February 2010 ABSTRACT This experiment, a partial duplication of the work of Stroop (1935)1, aimed to demonstrate the cognitive interference caused by conflicting stimuli, as measured by delayed reaction times in participants asked to read a list of words and name the colour of the words (using incongruent colour-word pairs). Laboratory trials were conducted on twelve (12) voluntary, anonymous participants, with the Independent Variable being the colour stimulus, the Dependent Variable being the reaction time of the participants to read the word lists. No interaction took place between the researcher and the participants, apart from the briefing, de-briefing and reading of the word lists. The results revealed significant differences in the mean time to read the words and name the colours across the whole research population, and by participants of different ages. This confirms that interfering stimuli affect cognitive processes. Individual factors such as nationality, mother tongue and familiarity with the test language (English) were not taken into consideration. TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 1 Method 2 Design 2 Participants 2 Materials 2 Procedure 3 Results 4 Description 4 Analysis 5 Discussion 6 Conclusion 7 References 8 Appendices 9 WORD COUNT: 1 489 INTRODUCTION Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. By studying the mediators2 between stimuli and the consequential responses, the approach argues that humans process information as computers do, Glassman and Haddad (2004). When conflicting stimuli are sensed, the most strongly developed cognitive process dominates the response. It is instinctive to read words as they are written, irrespective of the ink colour, because the process of learning to read entrenches the recognition and processing of letters into words. Conversely, the human mind has difficulty in naming colours when words describe another colour. ...read more.


Future studies of the Stroop Effect could focus on language, to evaluate the influence of this on the participants' reaction times. The test could also be conducted in the students' respective mother tongues and compared to their performances in English, to ascertain the influence of language level. The extent of the Stroop Effect is questionable. Stroop interference is a measure of two cognitive problems: overcoming integration and managing two conflicting information sources. The integration problem can be overcome with practice, with the extent of interference reducing with successive trials such that integration of the two dimensions (word and colour) and non-integration of the two dimensions gives similar results, MacLeod (1998). This is not taken into account during simple measures of the Stroop Effect, as in this experiment. The design of the experiment was sound. The researcher was competent to conduct the experiment and behaved professionally throughout the procedure. All forms of ethical procedure were observed. CONCLUSION This experiment confirmed that interfering stimuli affect cognitive processes. A significant difference was found between the ability to read words and name colours (in incongruent colour-word pairs): overall, naming took 13.17 seconds longer than reading, the time to name being twice as long as to read. Measurable differences were also noted between the different age bands of the participants, with 12-year-olds taking only 1.7 times as long to name colours compared to 17-year-olds who took 2.6 times as long. This phenomenon has not been explored in this experiment, but is worthy of further research. REFERENCES BOOKS * Engel-Andreasen, M. (2008). The Effect of Interfering Word Stimuli upon Naming Colours Serially. Nyborg Gymnasium. * Glassman, W. E. and Haddad, M. (2004). Approaches to Psychology. Fourth Edition. McGraw-Hill House, England. * Hill, G. (1998). Oxford Revision Guides, AS & A Level Psychology. Oxford University Press, New York. WEBSITES * Cognitive interference. http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/words.html. Last updated: 15 February 2010. Viewed 19 February 2010 * Colin MacLeod. ...read more.


13.44 25.70 Range 4.84 2.81 6.82 2.80 3.83 4.81 Std Dev 2.47 1.41 3.49 1.54 1.92 2.50 12 M 9.94 9.59 34.24 21.85 9.77 28.05 12 M 15.85 14.47 27.56 21.37 15.16 24.47 12 F 27.25 13.14 26.62 25.93 20.20 26.28 Mean 17.68 12.40 29.47 23.05 15.04 26.26 Range 17.31 4.88 7.62 4.56 10.43 3.58 Std Dev 6.77 2.52 4.15 2.51 5.22 1.79 16 M 9.43 9.81 23.25 28.19 9.62 25.72 16 F 10.22 14.03 25.41 25.12 12.13 25.27 16 F 12.03 14.75 22.06 18.28 13.39 20.17 Mean 10.56 12.86 23.57 23.86 11.71 23.72 Range 2.60 4.94 2.16 9.91 3.77 5.55 Std Dev 1.33 2.67 1.70 5.07 1.92 3.08 17 M 7.75 8.60 27.03 24.12 8.18 25.58 17 F 8.65 9.12 22.47 19.91 8.89 21.19 17 F 13.12 14.58 34.59 35.15 13.85 34.87 Mean 9.84 10.77 28.03 26.39 10.30 27.21 Range 5.37 5.98 12.12 15.24 5.68 13.68 Std Dev 2.88 3.31 6.12 7.87 3.09 6.99 Total 4 8 Mean 12.60 25.77 Appendix vii STATISTICAL CALCULATION FORMULAE Mean Value x frequency Sum of frequency Range Differences between maximum value and minimum value Standard Deviation Calculated using Microsoft Excel functions Proportional Increase Mean time to name colours Mean time to read words 1 http://wikidoc.org/index.php/Stroop_effect 2 A process or event within the individual which comes between a stimulus and a response - Glassman and Haddad (2004) 3 http://www.wikidoc.org/index-php/Stroop_effect 4 http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/words.html 5 The variable that is manipulated in two or more conditions to see what effect it has on the dependent variable - Hill (1998). 6 The main measured outcome of the experiment due to the manipulation of the Independent Variable - Hill (1998). 7 The average value in the range of results 8 The difference between the highest and lowest value in the range of results 9 The measure of the variation/dispersion in the range of results relative to the mean 10 Extraneous Variables are other variables that could potentially influence the Dependent Variable apart from the Independent Variable - Hill (1998) ?? ?? ?? ?? 18 ...read more.

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