The Indomitable Mr. Stroop

Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, May 2009 | Go to article overview

The Indomitable Mr. Stroop


VISUAL PROCESSING

The Indomitable Mr. Stroop

Hodgson et al. (2009). The saccadic Stroop effect. Vis Res, 49, 569.

In the Stroop task (Stroop, 1935, JEP 18:643), a participant attempts to name the different colors in which words in a list are written. The wellknown result is that if a word names a color other than the one in which it is written, people are greatly impaired at this task (i.e., are much slower to name the ink color) than if the meaning of the word does not conflict with the ink-color-naming task. This implies that reading what is written is mandatory: You cannot process the color of a word for purposes of uttering the color's name without reading the word, and the word meaning competes for utterance if it happens to be the name of a different color.

Hodgson et al. report a novel result along this line. It seems natural to expect that producing the name of a color in which a word is written might spontaneously engage systems that extract the color name in the word itself-because speaking and reading are both explicitly linguistic acts. …

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