This article applies to:
Experiment Author: Flowers, J.H., Warner J.L., & Polanky, M.L. Adapted from STEP and used with permission of Brian MacWhinney
This is a variant on the Stroop task, involving numbers rather than colors. Participants are supposed to name the number written on the screen, or the number of words on the screen. For instance, if they were supposed to name the number, and the screen shows "one one one", they would say "one", whereas if they were supposed to count the numbers, "one one one" would be "three".
This produces similar effects to those found in the Stroop task. The experimenters in the original study found that they could get around that by having participants tap out the number of items instead of saying it, but that is not implemented in this version
This experiment has four blocks of trials. In each block, participants follow instruction on how to categorize written numbers. Participants will sort numbers into a numeric category, e.g., 'one one' is displayed, the correct answer is to press '1' on the keyboard. The other category sorts by the number of words, e.g., 'one one one' is displayed, the correct answer is to press '3' on a keyboard. There are four total blocks, each contains 36 samples.
Flowers, J.H., Warner, J.L., & Polansky, M.L. (1979). Response and encoding factors in "ignoring" irrelevant information. Memory & Cognition, 7, 86-94.
Experiment Abstract or Original Experiment Abstract
Subjects classified either the numerosity or numeric value of elements in successive stimulus displays. In separate experiments, responses were indicated by oral naming, card sorting, manual tapping, and oral "tapping". Incongruent levels of numeric value slowed naming and sorting, but not tapping, when numerosity was the cue for responding. Incongruent numerosity slowed tapping, but not naming and sorting, when numeric value was the cue. Changes in stimulus response mapping may thus critically alter the ability to ignore an irrelevant stimulus dimension.
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Stroop Task