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Statistics LibreTexts

20.13: Stroop Interference

Skills to Develop

  • Strrop Interference demonstration

stroop.jpg 


Research conducted by

Statistics Class 

Case study prepared by

David Lane 

Overview

Naming the ink color of color words can be difficult. For example, if asked to name the color of the word "blue" is difficult because the answer (red) conflicts with the word "blue." This interference is called "Stroop Interference" after the researcher who first discovered the phenomenon.

This case study is a classroom demonstration. Students in an introductory statistics class were each given three tasks. In the "words" task, students read the names of \(60\) color words written in black ink; in the "color" task, students named the colors of \(60\) rectangles; in the "interference" task, students named the ink color of \(60\) conflicting color words. The times to read the stimuli were recorded. There were \(31\) female and \(16\) male students.

Questions to Answer

Is naming conflicting color names faster or slower than naming color rectangles? Which is faster, naming color rectangles or reading color names? Are there gender differences? 

Design Issues 

This was not a well-controlled experiment since it was just a classroom demonstration. The order in which the students performed the tasks may not have been counterbalanced or randomized. 

Descriptions of Variables

Table \(\PageIndex{1}\): Description of Variables

Variable
Description
Gender 1 for female, 2 for male
Words Time in seconds to read 60 color words
Colors Time in seconds to name 60 color rectangles
Interfer Time in seconds to name colors of conflicting words

Data Files

Stroop.xls

References

  • Stroop, J.R. (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 28, 643-662.

Contributor

  • Online Statistics Education: A Multimedia Course of Study (http://onlinestatbook.com/). Project Leader: David M. Lane, Rice University.