The Effect of Interfering Stimuli on Naming Colours Experiment.

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Running Head: INTERFERING STIMULI                 

International Baccalaureate Internal Assessment Standard Learning

The Effect of Interfering Stimuli on Naming Colours

Allison Gomes

Robert E. Lee High School

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The experiment was conducted to prove if conflicting stimuli is responsible for a delay in the reaction time taken to name colours..This experiment was based on Stroop’s experiment, from which it was mostly replicated. The independent variable is the colour stimulus, or the colour of the ink. The dependent variable was the time taken to name all the colours, or the reaction time. The first test was conducted by providing a chart of words with names colours, written in the same colour of ink (TestC). The second test showed a chart of words with names of colours, written with a different colour of ink (TestE). According to the results, it was more difficult to name the colour of the ink from the second chart than the first. This interference is caused by the introduction of a conflicting stimulus, which inhibits attention, and blocks the flow of automatic reading. There seems to be a correlation between both the tests, however, the participant’s first language, and linguistic skills should be considered for this experiment.

 Word Count – 173 words.

Keywords – colour, Stroop, effect, test, variable, perception, discrepancy, pattern


The cognitive approach in psychology studies internal mental processes, such as thinking, problem solving, memory and language. Information processing is often aided or hampered by some factors, the main among the being ‘attention.’ Attention, as studied in cognitive psychology, is the idea of how certain information is processed as it is present in our surroundings. The ability to distinguish between information which is not needed from meaningful information is an important part of cognition. Sometimes, during a task, a major part of the information we perceive is not relevant to the task immediately needed to be completed. The Stroop effect is a phenomena involved in attention processes. Attention enables to block out information and perceptions that are not relevant, and focus on the information that is important.

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The Stroop effect (Stroop, 1935) is a phenomenon that demonstrates how one's reaction time slows down when it has to deal with conflicting stimuli. The reaction time is slowed, and this occurs because of interference, or there is a delay in processing information caused by competing and opposite functions in the brain. This is an experiment that involves the control of an independent variable, which is the colour stimulus, or the colour of the ink, to see what effect it has on the dependent variable, which is the reaction time. When a noun is presented as a colour name, ...

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