Dse212Tma 03

An Adapted Stroop Experiment: Investigation of interference between automatic and controlled processes by measuring response time using colour-related and colour-neutral words.
The interference effect between automatic and controlled processing tasks was examined using an adapted Stroop experiment. Past work showed that response times in naming ink colours of printed words was longer when the words were colour names. This result was interpreted as an example of interference between automatic (reading) and controlled (colour naming) processing tasks. In this experiment, instead of colour names, colour-related words were used to see if the interference effect would still occur. Response times were greater when the words came from a list of colour-related words rather than one of colour-neutral words. This agreed with the findings of the previous experiment indicating that interference had occurred.

Our senses receive copious information from many stimuli, which undergoes internal cognitive processes. All this information cannot be processed simultaneously. A cognitive process called attention selects information from what is sensed, enabling it to be perceived and processed further, other information is disregarded, i.e. not attended to (DSE212 Course Team, 2007).

As the brain has limited capacity and resources, it is expected that only some of the available information will be taken in and processed. Simon and Levin (as cited in Edgar, 2007) designed a study to test this theory. Their study showed that most people failed to detect visual changes, referred to as ‘change blindness’ (DSE212 Course Team, 2007).

One explanation for why we cannot attend to everything, suggested by Kahneman (as cited in Edgar, 2007) is that the brain has a ‘limited capacity central processor’ to process sensory information and combine it with stored information. According to Kahneman (as cited in Edgar, 2007), there is one main pool of resources to filter...