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Introduction:

The study being partially replicated is Studies of


Interference in Serial Verbal Reactions, which was
conducted by J. Ridley Stroop in 1935. One aim of his
experiment was to identify how word stimuli would affect
our ability to name color stimuli. Stroop found that
interference would increase the time needed to name the
word stimuli and an increase of errors were made when
variable colour stimuli were present on the word stimuli,
rather than just black ink on different word stimuli. The aim
of my study is to identify how interference due to colour
stimuli will affect a students ability to read word stimuli, in
terms of time and amount of errors. This differs from
Stroops experiment in that the participants must name
the color stimuli and not the word stimuli and the colors are
not kept constant, e.g. always red, but are homologous to
the word stimuli in meaning, e.g. the word yellow is in
yellow ink. My hypothesis is that with increased
interference, the time taken to process the stimuli and
respond will increase due to the increased complexity of
the stimulus. I also hypothesize that there will be an
increased amount of errors in a participants response due
to this complexity. My aim is to examine the effects of
interference for IB students from Hamrahl College. The
precise research question is as follows: How will the word
stimuli (interference) affect a Hamrahl College IB
students accuracy and time taken in naming the color
stimuli?
Method - Design:
A convenience sample consisting of 6 students were
selected from each IB grade, due to time and resource
constraints. The research is experimental in nature, with
the independent variables being a stimulus were the color

and word stimuli are homologous (Control Trial Form), and


the color and word stimuli are heterologous (Experimental
Trial Form). We used repeated measures in our experiment,
meaning that each participant took part in the Controlled
and Experimental Trials. The reason for doing this is
because the time taken is relative to the person, so it would
be better to measure both the control and experimental
trail on each participant. To counter order effect, we used
counterbalancing and ensured that the participants had
ample time to relax between the trials to reduce the
possibility of a participant performing better in the second
trial due to practise or worse due to fatigue. The
experiment was quite ethical: the participants were not
deceived in any way and we received consent from all
participants prior to the experiment.
Method Participants:
We gathered participants through convenience sampling,
and our target population is the IB student body at
Hamrahl College. It is divided into three grades PreIB,
IB1 & IB2 with the students being of ages 15-19. We
selected 6 participants from each grade. There were 7
female participants and 11 male participants, e.g. the
percentage gender distribution is 38.9% female and 61.1%
male. All the participants were quite capable in their
English language capabilities.
Method Materials:
Participant Consent Form (see Appendix), Debriefing Form
(see Appendix), Experimental Group form (Appendix),
Controlled
Group
form
(Appendix),
Standardized
Instructions (see Appendix), Parental Consent Form (see
Appendix), Stopwatch.
Method Procedure:

We prepared and printed several copies of the materials


necessary before the experiment. We practiced the set-up
for the experiment beforehand with the Standardized
Instructions.
For each participant, we received written
participants and their parents if they are
16, and they were debriefed about
afterwards. We also sent the Debriefing
every participant.

consent from the


under the age of
the experiment
Consent Form to

They were then asked to participate in the study, with


consent and participant-experimenter confidentiality. This
resulted in 18 resulting participants. Both independent
variable intervals (homologous or heterologous color-word
stimuli presentation) were tested, and the amount of errors
collected for all participants were recorded. Both
independent variable intervals were tested. The first half of
the participants took the control trial form first, and then
the experimental trial form, and vice versa for the second
half of the participants. This was done to reduce order
effect, by means of counterbalancing. The amount of errors
a participant makes were recorded with their name, gender
and grade.

Results:
Table 1. Time taken for participants to state the color
stimuli in the Experimental and Controlled Trials.

Time Taken [s]


Homologous

Mean

Range

8.35

4.80

Interquartile
Range
1.20

Stimuli
Time Taken [s]
Heterologous
Stimuli
Percentage
Increase [%]

22.5

21.8

5.5

144.4

354.2

358.3

Table 2. Amount of errors in naming the correct color


stimuli.
Mean

Range

0.00

0.00

Interquartile
Range
0.00

1.06

3.00

2.00

Amount of Errors
Homologous
Stimuli
Amount of Errors
Heterologous
Stimuli

Graph 1. Frequency graph showing the amount of errors made by participants in naming colour stimuli during experimental trial.
8
7
6
5
Amount of Paerticipants

4
3
2
1
0
0.0

1.0

2.0

3.0

Amount of Errors

Graph 2. The average time taken for participants to name the correct colour stimuli in both the control and experimental trials.
25

20

15

Average Time Taken [s]


10

Control
Experi
ledmtriental
al (homol
trial o(heterol
gous stiomgous
uli) stimuli)

Table 1 shows that there was a significant increase in the


time taken to name the color stimulus when the stimuli
were heterologous (144.4% increase). The mean time taken
for homologous stimuli (8.35 seconds) had a small spread,
with interquartile range of 1.20 and range of 4.80. The time
taken for heterologous stimuli was much longer (22.5
seconds) and the spread of the data was incredibly wide
with interquartile range of 5.8 (a 358.3% increase) and a
considerably larger range (354.2% increase). This overall
increase in time suggests that the heterologous nature of
the stimuli is creating interference. Graph 2 shows the large
difference in the average time taken to name all the colors
between the control and the experimental trial.

Table 2 shows that the participants did better overall when


the word stimuli and color stimuli were homologous, with
zero errors by every single participant. In comparison, the
average amount of errors made by participants when the
stimuli were heterologous was approximately 1 error. Graph
1 shows that more people tended to make a mistake (11)
than not (7). Furthermore, there are fewer participants as
there are more mistakes.

Discussion:
The results support my hypothesis that heterologous stimuli
caused interference. These results are consistent with
Stroops study of 1935, since he found that participants
took a considerably longer time to name the color stimuli
when word stimuli where present, instead of coloured
solids.
There were several strengths to our experiment. All ethical
guidelines were followed and the confounding variables
were controlled to the best of our abilities. For instance, we
attempted to minimize experimenter expectancy by not
refering to anything outside of the standardized
instructions, so as not to influence the participants to
answer more rapidly or to ensure that they do not make
any mistakes. A strong point was that we did not inform the
participants of their time nor of their mistakes until the end
of the experiment, to reduce possible subject expectancy
and ensure that they were not self-conscious about their
possible errors as was done by Stroop. Despite using
repeated measures as per Stroops study, counterbalancing
was implemented to ensure practice and fatigue did not
skew the results.

There were also several weaknesses to our experiment.


First, the sample was selected by convenience due to time
and resource constraints. To counter this, the sample could
have been collected in a random fashion, e.g. by dividing
every IB student into grades and then randomly picking the
students who would be asked to participate; this would
have made the sample more representative. Another
problem is that many of the participants seemed to be
aware that the experiment was derived from the Stroop
effect, likely due to previous experience or participation in a
similar experiment. One participant was noted for stating
the colors rapidly and with fervor as if used to such an
experiment. To counter this, several other potential
interfering stimuli could be tested, e.g. the fonts of word
stimuli differing greatly, since the participants are less likely
to have undergone such an experiment. Another weakness
is the double usage of purple and violet on the controlled
group from, since this seemed to increase the confusion in
the participants over a potential color difference between
their purple color. This was expressed by more than one
participant, since they were uncertain whether they should
say purple or violet and were unsure whether there was
any difference. We also used the color yellow that Stroop
refrained from using since it would approximate the
stimulus intensity of the other words. We also did not
ensure that the color/word stimulus did not appear in a
close proximity to an identical color/word stimulus, as can
be seen on the Control Trial Form. To ensure that this does
not skew the results, this could be prevented in a modified
experiment.
A possible extension to my experiment would be testing the
interference a certain font (structural stimulus) might have,
as well as testing different size stimuli of words.

In conclusion, the results supported my hypothesis that the


heterologous stimuli would cause interference, which is
supported by Stroops research.

Works Cited
Stroop, J. R. (1935). Interference in Serial Verbal Reactions. Journal of
Experimental Psychology , 18, 643-662.

Appendix I Raw & Processed Data:

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Table 1. Information on Participants, Trial Times &


Amount of Errors in Control & Experimental Trials
Participant

Grade Gender

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Average
Median
Range
Interquartile
Range

Pre-IB
Pre-IB
Pre-IB
Pre-IB
Pre-IB
Pre-IB
IB1
IB1
IB1
IB1
IB1
IB1
IB2
IB2
IB2
IB2
IB2
IB2

Male
Male
Male
Male
Female
Female
Male
Male
Male
Male
Female
Female
Male
Male
Male
Female
Female
Female

Control
Trial
Times [s]
[ 0.1 s]
6.5
8.7
8.8
9.2
7.6
8.7
8.8
7.8
8.2
8.1
8.6
7.5
8.9
7.9
9.4
7.4
6.9
11.3
8.35
8.4
4.8
1.2

Experimental
Errors in
Trial Times
Experimental
Trial
[s] [ 0.1 s]
28.3
20.3
24.9
30.1
24.7
19.9
19.4
15.9
24.7
13.3
16.0
35.1
29.3
19.7
22.5
16.2
21.7
23.5
22.5
22.1
21.8
5.5

0
1
1
3
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
2
1
3
2
0
1
1
1.06
1
3
2

Table 2. Numerical and Percentage Increase in Time Taken


in the Experimental Trials
Participant

1
2
3
4

Numerical Increase in Time Taken


in Experimental Trial
[s] [ 0.2 s]
21.8
11.6
16.1
20.9

Perentage Increase in
Time Taken in
Experimental Trial [%]
335.4
133.3
183.0
227.2

17.1

225.0

11

6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Average
Range
Interquar
tile
Range

11.2
10.6
8.1
16.5
5.2
7.4
27.6
20.4
11.8
13.1
8.8
14.8
12.2
14.2
22.4
6.5

128.7
120.5
103.8
201.2
64.2
86.0
368.0
229.2
149.4
139.4
118.9
214.5
108.0
144.4
303.6
106.1

Appendix II Debriefing Form:


Dear participant,
Thank you for participating in our Stroop experiment. We have ensured that your
identity is kept confidential. We would like to inform you of the nature of our
study. We tested how the word, e.g. the word black, would affect your ability in
naming the actual color of the word. We found that it took longer to name the
color correctly when the word did not correspond to the color, e.g. the color
black was on the word pink, and many people tended to make mistakes when
they differed. No mistakes were made and the time taken to name all the colors
was much shorter when the color and word were the same, e.g. the color black
on the word black. If you would like a copy of the study being undertaken, please
send an email at einarragnarjonsson@gmail.com.
Thank you again for participating.

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Appendix III Standardized Instructions:


Hello [participants name],
[Introduce ourselves, what grade we are in and the subject we are studying, e.g.
Psychology]
You will be shown two forms with words in certain colors. You must state the
actual color of each word that you see, from left to right, top to bottom. You are
not to name the actual word, but the color. Pace your responses and try to finish
as quickly as you find comfortable, since we will be recording the overall time of
your response. We will not penalize you if you use variations of the same color
and we are only looking for the general color, e.g. purple, and not more elaborate
color distinctions, e.g. violet or aubergine, but you will not be penalized if you do
so. Do not feel stressed if you find it difficult to name the color and state what
color comes to mind, even if it may sound abnormal. If you feel uncomfortable at
any time you may ask us to stop the experiment and we will stop the experiment
and your data will not be used.
Please fill out our consent form if you are willing to participate, but do not feel
obligated to if you feel by any means uncomfortable.
Thank you again for participating!

Appendix IV Parent Consent Form:


Dear parent(s),
We are two students from MHs IB2 psychology class. We have conducted a
harmless experiment concerning a students ability in naming colors of words,
commonly known as the Stroop study.
Since your child is under the age of sixteen we need your consent to use your
childs results from the experiment in our report.We are testing the effect of
interference, e.g. the word blue being yellow, on naming the color of the word.
The participants list the colors they see on two forms; one where the color and
word are the same, e.g. the word red in the color red, and one where the color
and the word are not the same, e.g. the word red in the color blue. We have
recorded their response time and amount of errors.
Your child will remain anonymous, the results confidential, and the experiment is
not harmful in any way.
Thank you.

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Signature: ______________________________
Date: __________________________________

Appendix V Experimental Group Form (Heterologous


Stimuli):

Appendix VI Control Group Form (Homologous Stimuli):

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Appendix VII Informed Consent Form:


I understand:
The nature and purpose of this experiment
I will not be degraded in any way
That I can leave this experiment when I please
That the data extracted from my actions are confidential as well as my
identity
I may know the results of the experiment afterwards
I give my consent to participate in the Stroop experiment.
Name: __________________________________________
Date: ___/02/10
Contact Number: _________________

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