What is the Stroop effect? Evidence that Stroop difference scores yield little evidence for individual differences in inhibitory control of response. [Presented at International Society for the Study of Individual Differences Conference, London (ON), Canada]

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract

Background: J.R. Stroop’s (1935) PhD thesis described an effect that was to become rather ubiquitous in psychological research. Terms such as ‘Stroop effect’, ‘cognitive inhibition’, ‘attentional control’ etc. have fused in the literature to the point where they have so many different meanings; they actually have none all. Despite over 80 years of research using the paradigm, the exact basis of the effect is still contentious; with structural equation models identifying not one, but up to three separate types of inhibition. Aims: This poster will review issues regarding terminology and modern theories of the effect and its structure. We will also discuss issues surrounding the use of the traditional reaction time (RT) difference measure of performance in the task by presenting correlational evidence that suggests there is little evidence for individual differences in ‘inhibitory ability’. Method: A sample of university students (N=119) completed two and four choice versions of the Stroop Colour Word Task. Congruent, incongruent and neutral stimuli were presented on a computer screen and manual responses via a button box were made. Each task comprised 288 trials, 96 for each Stroop condition. Results & Conclusions: The extremely high correlations (.632< <.975) between mean RTs across Stroop conditions suggest a speed of processing source of variance in RT performance in the Stroop task, rather than specific variance due to ‘inhibitory control’.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2015
EventInternational Society for the Study of Individual Differences Conference - University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
Duration: 27 Jul 201531 Jul 2015

Conference

ConferenceInternational Society for the Study of Individual Differences Conference
Abbreviated titleISSID 2015
CountryCanada
CityLondon
Period27/07/201531/07/2015

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