Essay Sample on Automaticity and Interference in the Stroop Effect

Published: 2023-11-03
Essay Sample on Automaticity and Interference in the Stroop Effect
Essay type:  Cause and effect essays
Categories:  Psychology Research Intelligence
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1280 words
11 min read

Stroop effect is a phenomenon used to reveal the brain's functioning in aspects of information processing that puts into account all the basics that define the ability of a dedicated and functioning system. When conducting psychological tests, clinicians must take into account the importance of having effective Stroop tests in their examination. Understanding Stroop tests calls for the understanding of brain processes and how the body part interprets colors. Ever since in the 1930s, there is a consensus on how John Ridley expressed the triggering effects that printed words have on coloration (Stroop 1992). When identifying automaticity and interference tests using the Stroop analogy, three strategies can be applied to realize the desired results. One should be able to undertake congruent, neutral and incongruent tests that are all aligned at establishing the stimulus of colors on different subject tests.

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When conducting Stroop tests, one is supposed to focus on semantic interference, semantic facilitation and Stroop asynchrony. Most studies employ color naming and word reading processes to investigate Stroop interference; however, the variants are broad. This exploration places focus on how the digital naming and digits counting are applied in determining the Stroop effect. The various modifications were developed to examine the overall effects over circumstances and situations and also to evaluate the theoretic questions that processes of word reading and color identification made could not address. The aspects of automaticity and interference in the Stroop effect have acquired much attention in investigational literature. It is imperative that researchers dealing with Stroop tests establish the prevailing dependent and independent variables for them to be able to identify the existing relationship between the main factors.

My research study intends to explore the automaticity and the interference in the Stroop effect. In my research, my focus will be on two independent variables that involve congruence of content and counting. However, it should be made a priority to identify the response time of the variables in the Scoop test to be the dependent variable while tasks be considered as independent variable. They are reading of digits (2), neutral counting (++), conflicting digits (2222 = 4), and congruent counting (4444 = 4). The independent variables were measured in seconds which is the basic SI unit of measurement for any standard variable. It involves four tasks of evaluating each of the variables. Therefore, congruent counting is the dependent variable because it depends on time. The students participated in the study by conducting four tasks. The four tasks were Task 1: neutral naming, Task 2: neutral counting, Task 3: incongruent counting (counting the conflicting digits), and Task 4: congruent counting (counting the corresponding digits).

Experimentation was done to evaluate the response period for arithmetic coding, and specifying figures exhibited that the numeral identification group was quicker than the quantity that was identifying group. However, in the study, it was clear that variance was not statistically substantial thus making the final outcome have elements of doubt when it comes to validity. Similarly, in the research study done, neutral naming (Task 1) took the shortest time of 19 seconds, compared to quantity identification of the characters present. However, the difference occurred in neutral counting (Task 2), which took the longest time of 30 seconds compared to 21 seconds for incongruent counting (Task 3) and 28 seconds for congruent counting (Task 4) of the digits.

Stimuli is a response which sets joints both existing and figurative numbers of characteristics impact response time in a similar way as those combining real and representative color appearances. The outcomes demonstrated that identifying quantities of Arabic numerals takes a longer time than identifying the numerical themselves. Longer time taken was attributed to conflicts of numerical quantity in the stimuli. The possible two conflicts leading to delay could be classified as pinpointing task conflict and answering conflict.

According to an exploration conducted by Hintzman et al. (1972) evaluated the correctness and mistakes in responses to various conditions. The classical Stroop method had the highest rates of errors. They found that selective attention is operational only after retrieval of the memory. Incase classic Stroop is primarily due to interference with encoding ink color ability (Hintzman et al. 1972). The research concluded that a well-matched color word boosts the act to name the colors by only comparing it with classic Stroop but also comparing it with neutral control (Hintzman et al. 1972). It was concluded that the interference presence has relatively small effects. My research agrees with the findings that interference has small effects as the time taken in counting the incongruent digit, in this case, 21 seconds, was slightly higher than the time taken for neutral naming which was 19 seconds.

Stroop asserts that under different paradigms with different findings and conclusions, it is certain that the time required to strike a balance between variables to be disintegrated. The first paradigm was reading one hundred names of colors painted with a different color and reading one hundred names of colors. All painted in black. It took more time to read the names of colors written in various colors than reading the same names, all written in black. Contrary, in my research, participants took a shorter time in incongruent counting, which represents interference than for the facilitation experiment. The second paradigm was for the effects of intrusive word stimuli upon identifying colors in sequence. The results indicated the presence of strength in the interferences of the habits of calling words upon the naming activity of the colors (Stroop 1992). The finding differentiated with my study, which showed little impact of interference on counting time.

A recent study by Grégoire et al. (2019) uses a different approach to Stroop effect evaluation by using the musical Stroop paradigm. The stimuli in the experiment contained a note picture placed at various spots of melodic staff. Results revealed an interactive pattern in reading and naming musical notes. Calling of the note as the interference process led to an increase of the Stroop effect while presenting word reading as the interference process reduced the effects (Grégoire et al. 2019). The strength of interference evolves with training. It differentiates with my findings as the interference affected counting ability at an insignificant rate.

The research study done, focuses on validating the hypotheses that automaticity and interference have no impact on Stroop effect or that automaticity and interference do have an impact on the Stroop effect. It is anticipated that neutral timing and neutral counting will have a shorter time than incongruent and congruent counting of digits. In my research, the shortest time is exhibited in neutral naming, while the longest time is experienced in neutral counting. None of the independent variable time is expected to be the same due to different tasks in each. Windes (1968) concluded stimuli conflict because of delay hence the incongruent counting of digits presents interferences between the stimuli naming the digits and stimuli of counting the quantity causing delay of response thus more time is expected. Hintzman et al. (1972) added that interference of ink color resulted in a long time in reading the words due to presence of the interference. Also, for tasks (IV) which involves congruent counting, the time taken is expected to be shorter, as according to Hintzman et al. (1972) well-matched words with color take shorter time to read.


Grégoire, L., Poulin-Charronnat, B., & Perruchet, P. (2019). Stroop interference depends also on the level of automaticity of the to-be-interfered process. Acta Psychologica, 197


Hintzman, D. L., Carre, F. A., Eskridge, V. L., Owens, A. M., Shaff, S. S., & Sparks, M. E. (1972). " Stroop" effect: input or output phenomenon? Journal of experimental psychology, 95(2), 458.

Stroop, J. R. (1992). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 121(1), 15.

Windes, J. D. (1968). Reaction time for numerical coding and naming of numerals. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 78(2 Pt 1), 318-322.

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