The Stroop Effect: Revisited Through Nonarbitrary Key Press Modality

1295 words - 5 pages

Fourteen undergraduate students from Middle Tennessee State University participated in exchange for extra credit points in their psychology research methods course. There were 7 females and 7 males. The participants ranged from ages 18 to 30 years (M=20.64, SD=2.98). All the participants had normal vision and were representative of the campus’ general population.
The experiment was conducted using a Macintosh G4 computer with a standard keyboard, and a 17 in. Viewsonic display screen (screen resolution 1024x768). The “MatLab” software was used to implement the experiment and record participant responses.
The stimuli for this experiment were colored squares, and color names (BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN, and RED). The squares and words would appear in the middle of the screen against a black background. The colored squares were 3in. by 3in., and the color names appeared in 88 point Helvetica font. In the White Ink Color (WIC) condition the color names were only presented in white ink; for example, the word RED would be shown but the ink color would be white. In the Color Only condition (CO) only the colored squares were presented. In the Ink Color and Color Name Congruence (ICCNC) condition the congruent ink color and color name was presented, for example: the word RED would be shown to the participant in red ink. In the Ink Color and Color Name Incongruence (ICCNI) condition were presented where the ink color and the color name were not congruent; for example, the word RED would be shown to the participant in blue ink.
Each participant completed the conditions individually in a well lit room. The independent variable was the ‘stimulus type’ and was varied across three levels creating three unique conditions: Color Only (CO), Ink Color and Color Name Congruence (ICNC), and Ink Color and Color Name Incongruence (ICNI). The dependent measures were response time and errors. Before beginning the practice condition participants were given verbal instructions stating that they were about to begin a practice run to familiarize them with the response keys (R- Red, G- Green, B- Blue, and Y- Yellow). They were then told there were three conditions after the practice run, and also to follow the on screen directions. The on screen instructions for the practice run reiterated the verbal instructions in addition to instructing the participants to hit the key that was the first letter of the color name shown; it also informed the participants that a ‘beep’ sound indicated an incorrect response and to try again. For the rest of the conditions participants were instructed to hit the key that was the first letter of the color of the items as rapidly and accurately as possible; for example, if the color name RED appeared in blue ink they were to hit B for the blue ink color. Participants also received a ‘beep’ if they entered a first letter key that did not correspond with the ink color displayed on the screen. If the participant entered an incorrect...

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