Areport of the findings from a numbered Stroop experiment conducted bythe entire class.
Ahuman being naturally is in the learning process. Thoroughexperiences and getting used to doing things, a human being is boundto get acquitted to normal duties and in the long perform them as ifvoluntarily.
Researchhas been done about the relationship between cognitive human actionsand their effect to the normal operations of a human being. Differentconditions that the paper will discuss post different results whensubjects are exposed to different situations. More often than not,the conditions that subject are bound to be exposed to are spreadacross these three categories, congruent, Incongruent and Control.These have been used as test beds since the inception of Stroopeffect and its analysis.
Atwo-year-old kid would come to you to help them tie their shoelaces.One question you would be asking yourself is whether this kid everlearns. This is because it is something that you have shown themcountless times but he does not master the art. However, after thekid grows to 8 years or older, they stop asking for help when tryingto tie their shoelaces.
Accordingto psychologists, this can only be explained from the school ofthought of automized behaviors (Goldstein,2011).This theory explains that, rigorous implementation of a cognitiveactions become second nature. Schmidt(2008) averts that there are a number of actions that can beautomized. They include writing, reading, cycling, piano playing,typing et al
In1991, MacLeod and Dunbar did another experiment that they dubbed thecontinuum of automaticity. According to MacLeod and Dunbar (1988),they conducted an experiment by exposing their participants through 4phases of learning. The main aim of the experiment was to show thatthere is more than one level of automaticity. This experimentexpected the respondents to associate shapes with colors. Forexample, according to MacLeod and Dunbar, the respondents were tospell out red whenever they saw a square (MacLeod and Dunbar, 1988).
Thevariables that were considered when performing the experiment by,MacLeod and Dunbar was the time that the researcher took to teacheach group of respondents the color and shape matching principle.Phase 1 required that the participants were to be taught for 2 hours.Then another group of participant was to be taught for 5 hours andthe last group of participants was to be taught for 20 hours. Datawas collected later on the reaction time of these different groups.
Itwas clear that the group that had gone through 20 hours of trainingfound it easier to perform the task and reported lower reaction time.The group that was exposed to 5 hours was second and the group thathad been exposed to 2 hours posted the highest reaction time.
However,psychologists pose a different question and angle to look at thesecognitive automated behaviors. Research shows that normal actionslike tying show laces and writing can be affected when the desiredbehavior is not achieved (Goodwin,2010).
Thisis what gave birth to what is referred to as the Stroop experiment. The research was done in 1935. This popular research often cited bynumerous psychologist tested reading as the cognitive automizedprocess. To achieve the results, J. R. Stroop used a samplepopulation with 100 words each colored differently (Stroop, 1935).
Forexample, a word like green would be colored with red, then therespondent would be asked to shout out the color that painted thewords repeatedly through the 100 words that has the samecharacteristics. The results for this experiment were recorded.
Thecontrol experiment, designed by J. R. Stroop (1935) required him toput up 100 boxes each of them shaded inside with the dominant colors.The respondents were again asked to spell out the colors that filedthe boxes and their reaction time recorded.
Itwas clear from thus experiment that the reaction time for therespondents from this experiment while spelling out the colored wordswas higher compared to when they were supposed to spell out the colorshaded in the boxes.
Thenext experiment that has been conducted over the years in regards tothe Stroop effect was done with the use of numeric numbers,characters, and symbols. It went against the grain of using colorsand asking people to perform some tasks. This experiment performed byWindes in 1968.
Accordingto the requirements of this experiment, (Windes, 1968) required therespondents to be presented with different situations. The conditionswere made up if symbols (-, +++, ===), the next condition waspresented in alphabetic characters such as (C, AAA, DD, BBB, DDD) thenext had matched digits (1, 4444, 333, 22, 4444) the last conditionwas made up of mismatched digits (2, 1111, 444, 33, ) (Windes, 1968).
Accordingto (Windes, 1968), participants were required to count the number ofcharacters they could see in each of the conditions presented above.Data collected revealed that participants found it difficult to countthe mismatched digits.
Fromthe experiments that were conducted by Windes and Stroop, they tacklethe issue of change from what is normal when it comes to automatedbehavior. They show how a certain experience can pose challengeswhen a different situation is presented. A situation that makes whatwas once an automatic behavior involves some thinking and a littlemore concentration. Research conducted in class in reference to theStroop experiment borrows a lot from this school of thought. Besidesthat, the explanations that will be provided from the research we arebound to do in class will also seek advice and explanation fromMacLeod and Dunbar work that was focused on continuum of automaticity(MacLeod and Dunbar, 1988).
Themethod that was used to conduct this research was based on the Windes1968 experiment. However, for the research that was conducted inclass required the students to be in pairs. The experiment posedthree conditions that can be derived from major scholarly articles onStroop Experiments. These conditions are Congruent, Incongruent andControl.
Froma nonprofessional perspective, the hypothesis that we can derive fromthe scholarly articles we have referred to above is that a change inthe normal automized cognitive behavior will definitely lead to theincrease in the reaction time.
Theindependent variables that can be indentified from the research thatwe conducted in class were the participants of the experiment. Inthis case, the students that were to organize themselves in pairswere the independent variables. The dependent variables however arethe different conditions that these students were subjected to whentesting for Congruent, Incongruent and Control situations in theexperiment.
Studentswere given unique participation numbers while conducting theexperiment. These numbers were to be recorded on the demographicsurvey that the students were expected to fill while we wereconducting the experiment.
Inthe pairs that the students in class grouped themselves into, theywere required to perform the three trials at intervals of 30 seconds.The role of the partner of each student was to record the reactiontime of different conditions the students were exposed to using astopwatch.
Thisexperiment made the use of symbols and numeric values to test thereaction time of student under different conditions. The congruentcounting involved a student counting 30 symbols that were groupedtogether. The class experiment grouped the + symbols in differentgroups (+, ++, +++, ++++) . Here the students were expected to countthe number of + as fast as they can progressively through the rowsand the results were recorder.
TheIncongruent test made use of digits grouped together as in the caseof +s. for example (2, 1111, 3333, 44, 11, 2. . .). The students wererequired to count the number of digits as well in these rows loudlyas they progressed to the bottom. Results were recorded here as well.
Forthe control experiment, the students were just expected to namenumbers as fast as possible in each row as they progressed downwards.For instance, each row has numbers such as (2, 1, 4, 2, 5, 3). Theresults were collected here once again and recorded.
Theresults were collected from each student demographic surveyrepresenting different conditions. Time elapsed from each student’spaper based on these conditions were averaged and the resultspresented.
Forthe baseline experiment, otherwise called the Control assessment ofconditions it took the class an average of 10 seconds to spell outthe numbers on each row to the end. For the congruent experiment, ittook the class an average of 15 seconds to count the number of +sthey could see from the rows presented to them. The last assessmentsresults were based on the incongruent counting. It took the studentsaverage of 20 seconds to complete counting the grouped numericalvalues on each row to the end.
Resultsthat we have obtained from the experiment are a true revelation ofthe hypothesis statement. The results can confirm that the Stroopeffect is functional. The results that we have obtained show that thereaction time is hugely affected when normal functions like readingthat are automized become a challenge when the desired behaviors arenot achieved.
Forinstance, we can see that the control assessment where the studentsare just expected to shout out the numbers that they see, theyprovide the answers within the shortest time possible, 10 seconds.This is because students in class are used to reading numericalvalues to words and they do this effortlessly. However, when thestudents are required to count the +s the reaction time increasesconsiderably. In as much as it is something that students atundergraduate level are not used to, they have had experience withthis in kindergarten. The reaction time goes to 15 seconds.
Whenthe conditions changed and the students were expected to count howmany digits are in a row, the value goes to 20 seconds. This showsthat students have never been exposed to such a situation and itrequires more concentration from them in order to get the results.This situation backs up experiments from Stroop, MacLeod, and Dunbar.
Whileconducting the experiment, the limitation that we met wasunderstanding the instructions. Students found it challenging tocomprehend the instruction and ended up performing the task more thanthrice to get the right results. To improve the experiment, thispaper suggests that students should be allowed to take turns whileconducting the different assessment conditions. This will keep themat ease and under little pressure while conducting the experiment asopposed to the proposed methods in the methodology.
Goldstein,E. B. (2011). Cognitivepsychology: Connecting mind, research, and everyday experience.Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Goodwin,C. J. (2010). Researchin psychology: Methods and design.Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
MacLeod,C.M. & Dunbar, K. (1988). Training and Stroop-like interference:Evidence for a
continuumof automaticity. Journalof Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and
Cognition,14(1),126-135. doi: 10.1037/0278-73188.8.131.52
Stroop,J.R. (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions.Journalof Experimental
Schmidt,J. R. (2008). TheStroop effect: Why proportion congruent has nothing to do withcongruency and everything to do with contingency.Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothèque et ArchivesCanada.
Windes,J. D. (1968). Reaction time for numerical coding and naming numerals.Journalof ExperimentalPsychology,78,318–322.