Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Stroop Effect

Ever heard of the Stroop Effect? I hadn't until recently, but it is a great insight into the workings of the brain. Here is what the wiki says about it.

  •  the Stroop effect is a demonstration of the reaction time of a task. When the name of a color (e.g., "blue," "green," or "red") is printed in a color not denoted by the name (e.g., the word "red" printed in blue ink instead of red ink), naming the color of the word takes longer and is more prone to errors than when the color of the ink matches the name of the color. The effect is named after John Ridley Stroop who first published the effect in English in 1935.  The effect had previously been published in Germany in 1929. The original paper has been one of the most cited papers in the history of experimental psychology, leading to more than 700 replications. The effect has been used to create a psychological test (Stroop Test) that is widely used in clinical practice and investigation.
One of the things I like about this test is it's ease in replication.  You can manufacture testing material, run the experiment and generate data in fairly fast order. 

There are other equally fascinating test, however the setup and execution is such that one can lose interest easily.  Read the wiki article and some of the online material.  This is truly a fun and interesting experiment with many variations. 


kallamis said...

AAArrrrgghh. You had to bring this back to my brain. I took this ^&^%#U*O^&^%$$$^& thing once for a friend of mine in college. He was in the college. I will never discuss my first attempt at this, except to say, he had a great laugh.

Beam Me Up said...

Of course I have to bring up a like effect that I have experienced with audio. I first saw this very weird effect demonstrated at the museum of science in Boston. They put a pair of headphones on a gent and had him read the declaration of independence, which he did very well. Then they turn on the head phones which supplied the mans voice back to him but a few mili-seconds delayed which made the person almost incapable of speech! I found that I can duplicate this effect with the internet and radio using WRFR as a signal standard. come to find out the internet is delayed and playing it through my mixer gives it a little bit more to the point if I am trying to read a story or play one through the mixer to read, it becomes a mess of half words and lots of ahs and the like.

This color thing is a wonderful demonstration of left or right dominance. Plus there is the invisible gorilla test that is the funniest of all!