Science Projects on the Stroop Effect

Written by michael e carpenter
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The Stroop Effect is a psychological phenomena that displays a feature called interference. The Stroop Effect takes the words of common colours such as "red" and "green" and prints these words in different colours. The goal of the experiment is not to read the word but to identify the colour of the ink. The interference is that the mind wants to automatically read the word and not identify the colour as asked. Many science projects can be completed to demonstrate the Stroop Effect.

Testing the Effect

Test the Stroop Effect on students to see how they perform. The Science Buddies website has a worksheet that can be printed to test colour recognition skills. Start by providing students a form on which the colour of the ink and the word match, such as the word "red" being printed in red ink. Time the students to see how long it takes them to identify all of the words correctly. Give them another sheet on which the word and the ink colour are mismatched. Time them again to see how long it takes them to complete the test. Record the results. What factors are at play that make identifying the colour more difficult when the words and colours are mismatched?

Eliminate the Stroop Effect

Give the Stroop Effect test to students and take note of the time it takes to complete each test. Present students with another Stroop Effect test, but this time present the word in a warped, bloated manner. The word can be presented in a circle formation or with letters presented on different planes. The warped words test should have an equal number of problems to solve as the traditional Stroop Effect test provided. Time students on the warped word challenge. Did the scores differ? What could be the cause in the change of time?

Battle of the Sexes

Does being a boy or girl make a difference with the Stroop Effect? To find out, test your mother and father and any brothers or sisters. Record the age of the participants. Give the traditional Stroop Effect test so that the word and ink colour first match and then mismatch. Record the times for each experiment. Average all boys and girls' times to see if there is a difference in time. Is there a difference? Did the age of the participant seem to have an effect on the average time to complete the tests?

Is It Automatic?

The Stroop Effect test is administered in the native language of the person being tested. But what if you change the language of the test? Will the outcome be the same? Create Stroop Effect worksheets using another language, such as Spanish, if you are testing English-speaking subjects. Test them using the traditional Stroop Effect in their native language first and record the results. Provide the test in a foreign language and see if the results of the test change. Were students faster or slower when identifying colours in a foreign language? If so, why?

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