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The Stroop Effect

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        The Stroop Effect was first described by J. Ridley Stroop in 1935 and later named after him. The Stroop color word task requires subjects to name the font color of a color word. The words are normally the words for colors that are presented first in congruent then in non-congruent colors. Stroop task is a text used to test the human brain in terms of color recognition and reaction time. The test also has been used to test cognition among men and women. The color word either matches or does not match the font color (Stroop, 1935). In conducting this test, most researchers have focused on the ability to recognize colors, the different performance between the sexes, the reaction time, and the effect of color word inference (Oderre, Van Heuven, & Conklin, 2013).

        Stroop interference occurs when identification of colors presented as incongruent color words is delayed relative to simple color naming. The effect is one of the most reliable psychological phenomena and it has been subject of hundreds of cognitive studies, Macleod (1991) reviewed the vast literature published on the Stroop Effect, including studies that examined sex differences. Stroop (1935) himself reported that females can name colors faster than males can. But despite several similar reports that females are faster at color recognition (Dash & Dash 1982) and a twin study in which elderly woman outperformed their male twins (Bertner, Juruik and Blum 1971), Macleod concluded that the majority of published studies report that women and men do not display differential interference (Macleod 1971).

Many experiments have been used automated behaviors especially because of the fact that of automated behaviors are undesirable to study the methods their processing, simple tests, such as stroop maybe used. An interesting observation is that when sex differences are found they are usually in favor of females. However, it is difficult to draw conclusions on the subject because studies reporting sex data were relatively rare.

 The purpose of this experiment is to determine the effect of Stroop on male and female in color recognition. The experiment will use flashcards in order to gather its data.



        The researchers used “quota sampling” method and gathered 20 students specifically 10 males and 10 females from different courses at Taguig City University who participated in the experiment in exchange for some refreshment the researchers had prepared. Most of the participants were in their second year of college. All the participants were chosen based on their sex regardless of the year and courses they are in. Before the experiment was conducted, the researchers already informed the participants and asked for their consent.

Materials and Procedures

        The participants were taken one at a time into the room, which excluded the others from seeing what might be going on. As they entered the room, the subjects were greeted by the researchers to put them at ease and were asked to take a seat in front of the table. The participants were told that they were taking part in a piece of experimental research and asked if they were sure they are willing to participate.

        The researchers then explain the instructions for the experiment. There are 2 sets of tasks each participant will do. Every set is composed of 10 items each. The participants are given a time limit of 5 seconds to choose the answer per item. The first set of flashcards consists of non-Stroop effect items in which the participants will choose among three choices of what is the color of the given word that matches its font color. For example, the word blue is shown with blue font color (e.g. BLUE – in which the answer would be blue).  The second set of flashcards consists of Stroop effect items. In which the participants will also have three choices to determine the font color of the color word given. However, this time, the font color did not match the color word that is shown. For example, the word is red but its font color is purple (e.g. RED – in this case, the answer would be purple). Right after each participant performed the experiment, the researchers already checked their answers and the participants can see their scores if they want to.


        The experiment is concerned with the Stroop and Non-Stroop effect on Color Recognition. In order to make comparison in color recognition between Stroop and non-Stroop effect among males and females, the researchers used a “Within-subject design”. Each subjects, males and females, take two conditions or two tests which is the Non-Stroop and Stroop effect. In this two conditions, the participants had undergone a limited time per flashcard. The researchers will be able to compare the overall results or scores of both party, the males and females, to determine the whether to accept or reject the said hypothesis.


There are 10 males and 10 females that were given tests consist of Stroop and non-Stroop tasks and their results are classified based on their scores using chi-square (x2) to test if there is a significant difference between male and female and their scores. The computed value is 7.4 and the tabulated value is 3.841 rejection of the null hypothesis.


        The results of the experiment supported the hypothesis that females are better at color recognition than males.  The female participants that took the test got better scores compared to the male participants. These results are consistent with the results of other studies reported. These are different studies that demonstrated and supported the sex differences when it comes to Stroop and non-Stroop effect on Color recognition (e.g. Baroun and Alansari 2006; Davis, Jorgenson, Kritselis and Opella 1981; Golden 1974; Peretti 1969, 1971; Sarmany 1977; Strictland, Ella, James, Stein 1977).

        Based on the extensive literature on the Stroop Test (Stroop, 1935) this includes many inconsistencies. Although a number of generalizations concerning the Stroop effect are accepted, some studies such as Macleod (1991) yielded sex difference on the interference card, while other studies reported that males and females did not display differential interference. Still other studies reported that females are quicker on the Stroop color-word card test than males are (Sarmany 1977).

        The results of the Stroop test showed a variety of patterns. As predicted, the females were able to produce high correct score results as compared to their male counterparts. However, the statistical significance of the difference was downplayed by the fact that two of the male participants were unable to answer some questions. These two participants have affected the average time taken by males as both of them were very low in giving out their results.



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