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Psychology Report: Experiment on Stroop Effect While Naming the List of Colors

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This study is focused on the Stroop effect , this was formed by John Ridley Stroop, where they asked participants a list of colours in the same colour ink and a list of colours in different colour ink. The hypothesis for the study is ‘That it takes more effort to recall colours than of words’. The main study that link to this study is by James McKeen Cattell in 1886, who after doing the experiment, suggested that word reading is automatic and is already in the brain, due to practice in life. For the method, I asked a number of participants if they would like to volunteer in my experiment. For the design method used in the experiment, the researcher method was that the researcher used was a field experiment

Literature Review

Literature review- The Stroop effect is all about information processing and how people recall this information. This was created by John Ridley Stroop who in 1929 gave participants words on a sheet of paper. Stoop did know that the automatic processing, would happen during the experiment, because of the research from the past. One of the first researchers to research the theory behind this is James McKeen Cattell in 1886, who suggested that word reading is automatic and is already in the brain, due to practice in life. The researcher used two sources to get information one was a blog and one was a written report, the researcher believes that the written report is more reliable because it includes lots of references to back up information, whereas the blog doesn’t however it is written by someone with a PHD, not in psychology though. One way for the implications for policy and practice of the research is if someone is color-blind because they can’t recall the specific different colors, therefore it would be unreliable and will affect the outcome of the results.

Aims and hypothesis ‘That it takes more effort to recall colours than of words.

IV and DV (Independent and Dependant variable): The IV of the Stroop effect is how the experiment will be affected if the colour and the text shown was different or similar. The DV of the Stroop effect is the time taken between the stimulus and the response.

The methodology


  • In my experiment the researcher used six participants of a range of different ages and genders.
  • My target population came from one area (The northwest) and had different ages from 16-43 year olds.
  • For my Experiment, The researcher used the opportunity for the sampling method because the researcher had asked people at a random time who were not busy to take part if they wanted to.


  • For my study, the research method, the researcher used was a field experiment because it was carried out at home ( a real-life environment) rather than in a laboratory.
  • For the experimental design, the researcher used repeated measures because it makes sure the results the experimenter obtained is accurate and reliable. The researcher got data over a couple of days and repeated the experiment with the same variables.
  • Variables in research, in the researcher used, is referred to as IV (the cause) and DV (the effect). The IV manipulates the DV that is measured.
  • The extraneous variable is where the experimenter will manipulate the IV with a real-life experiment, as they can’t control every variable. One possible extraneous that could have an effect the researcher’s results, is participants. The participants could have different factors that would potentially have affected and impacted the results, this could be anything from age to intelligence to gender. The researcher attempted to control this, for example with intelligence, The researcher sure to use a range of different people, these all had different ranges of intelligence, this made sure that there might be one of two anomalies but the overall results wouldn’t change, therefore, didn
  • t impact the result. Another extraneous variable that was a big risk, concerning affecting the results was the environmental variables, for example, Covid-19 could affect their behavior, because it was done online, therefore could have affected the results, The researcher controlled this by making sure that it ran smoothly and that the instructions the participant was given was standardized. Another example is where people live, they might have had different experiences, with education for example. Therefore, this could have affected the results, The researcher controlled this by making sure that the participants all came from one area, this made the results fair and accurate. Controlling extraneous variables was hard to control due to being online because of COVID-19.
  • A final extraneous variable is the experiment variable is given instructions that are different every time, the experimenter controlled this by using standardized instructions, to make sure nothing affects the experiment and the researcher won’t tell the participants more than they need to know.


The researcher used many materials when carrying out the research, The researcher used a stopwatch, to time the percipients. A Computer and the internet, to video call (due to Covid-19) and to record my results on a table. The researcher also sent a consent form (see appendix 1), instructions (See appendix 2), Resources (see appendix 3) questionnaire (see appendix 4) and debrief to participants (See appendix 5)

For the experiment the scoring system the researcher used was a table and the time in seconds, I used this to record my results.

Ethical considerations

  • Lack of Informed Consent: When conducting the experiment, The researcher made sure that the participants can be debriefed the participants about the experiment I am conducting, not all the details though because it could have changed the outcome of the situation. Provided them with a consent form (see appendix one)
  • Deception: When conducting the experiment the researcher needed to make sure to debrief the participants (See appendix 5) and don’t withhold information that the participants may have needed to know.
  • Protection from harm: Participants were given the right to withdraw before and after the experiment, if they are in distress as this can cause psychological harm.
  • Confidentiality: Participants needed to be anonymous this means the researcher should have not given any personal details or information of others. The researcher addressed this for example by naming them participant 1,2 etc.
  • The researcher needed to consider the situation with COVID-19, and make sure that and my participants are safe, during the experiment. To address this I stuck to COVID-19 guidelines.


When doing the experiment, the researcher firstly gathered all six of the participants. These participants were all tested online (through Microsoft teams) and individually. When conducting the experiment with them, the researcher gave them a consent form to fill out beforehand, with their written names and signatures on there, to show that they have consented to and for the participants to know and understand their rights. The researcher than went through the standardized instructions (see appendix 2) with the participants these were clear and easy to understand. The researcher then making sure that the participants fully understand what there are asked to do , than the researcher, started the experiment with them by doing conditions one and condition 2 , the participants were asked to read out a list of colors that was the same as the text and list of text with different colors e.g. blue was written in red, this showed recall, while doing this I timed the participants so that the researcher had some data as evidence. When doing the experiment the researcher gave them a time limit of 10 mins. After the participants conducted the researcher’s pilot study, they then went on to answer a 5 question questionnaire (see appendix 4) , which was done with close questions, so that we got simple answers. Lastly, at the end of the experiment the researcher then debriefed (see appendix 5) the participants, so that the participants fully understand what the experiment was about and what they did by doing this, here the researchers told them everything including the aim and hypothesis of the pilot study. The researcher and participants then discussed this and the participants were able to ask any questions. The Participants then agreed that if they wanted to be part of the experiment, and If participants didn’t their data will then be withdrawn from the experiment.

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For my results, the researcher obtained descriptive statistics and raw data see table below, the researcher then put it in a graphical display (see below).

Table 2 shows descriptive statistics ( see table below). I did interval data which is the mean scores of the researcher results, for the working outs (see appendix 6).

In table 2, condition 2 had the highest average with a score of 20, this means that participants took longer to read out the list of colors that were written in different colors than they did for the words written in the same color. Condition 1, had a lower mean score by 13 seconds, than condition 2. People, therefore, did much better in condition 1 than in condition 2.

The findings, that the researcher obtained explain that when the brain tries to process what color it is, it takes much longer and more effort due to the two types of information conflicting in the brain. It takes the brain much longer to realize which was is right. This explains the researcher’s hypothesis, ‘ That it takes more effort to recall colors than of words’. When the researcher was carrying out the experiment, they found out that there was a certain piece of data, that was unexpected. This was the anomalous data, were compared to other participants, one took a very long time on condition one (39 seconds), just to read out the colors written in the same ink. There was a pattern as most of them had similar results. All of them took longer in condition 2 than in condition 1.

Strengths and limitations:

For sampling, the researcher chooses a target population from an age range from 16-43, all from the same area. The issue with this is that for the age, it consisted of 4 out of 6 is the same age of 16 and the other two with different ages in the range. This is a little brief and isn’t much of a variety, this could have impacted the experiment as younger people have quicker reaction times than those who are older. With the ages and areas, if they are all similar it makes it harder to generalize to different areas and ages. They were also all volunteers, as the researcher asked them if they wanted to take part, this may have changed the results to other sampling methods, which might make it much more valid. The study did run somewhat smoothly, the researcher got results that were accurate and was in line to the original study. The participants seemed to enjoy taking part from what I gathered from the questionnaire (appendix 4), there was times however when participants were a little distracted from the things going on around them, as this wasn’t very standardized, due to the fact that the experiment was done over video because of COVID-19. In the researcher questionnaire, some participants said to be a little more professional , when conducting the experiment. The researcher findings does support the hypothesis, as it does show all that it takes longer to recall colours written in the same colour ink , this is shown with the raw data and the mean (average) score I obtained, for example, the mean score for condition 1 was 7 while condition 2 was 20. This is a clear difference and clearly shows ‘That it takes more effort to recall colours than of words’ . The instructions given to participants was easy to follow, as it was written in simple bullet points, and any questions were answered, this was shown when the participants did the questionnaire, as out of six participants all said that yes the instructions was easy to understand. When looking back at the literature review, the results obtained was very similar, as it did show that condition 2 that it takes longer, when the colour ink and the word don’t correspond together. James McKeen Cattell who also repeated the experiment obtained similar results and findings. The researcher is pretty confident in the results obtained as they make sense and they line up, with the findings from past experimenters who repeated this study.


The research done by the researcher can impact practice in the real world because it can be used by psychiatrists and researchers to figure out someone’s attention spam, and how long it takes someone to process and recall information. The research could be used to change education, advertisement and age, as for education it can be used to test students’ intelligence and their attention span. For age it can be used to see how someone who is older is mental, it is known that doing the strop test is much harder for the older generation, than it is for the young. It could also be used in advertising because it might be much easier for people to understand if the color and text is written in the same color. To further this investigation, the researcher could maybe do some more research and experiment In how the brain processes things. My recommendations for future research is to get more data and use more participants so that it is more accurate and valid.’

Professional development:

Doing this research will help the researcher in the future because it will help me to be able to conduct an experiment again if I go into psychology. It has built my confidence and given me some insight into university. It will help me be aware of confidentially and data protection, which can be used in everyday life. While conducting the experiment, the researcher has learnt a range have skills, that has helped with my progress and development. Some of the personal skills I have learned is that I have good organization skills and time management, this is good because it will help me do reports and conduct experiments again. Another personal skill is that I am able to work indivually better, so I am able to get things done efficiently and not have to rely on other people. Some of the professional skills I have learned is that I have now improved on my academic research skills, such as some IT skills and paying attention to detail, this will be useful in jobs I may undertake and everyday uses, such as reading and analyzing texts. Another professional skill I have learned is that I have learned the importance of health and safety, especially with making sure my participants weren’t in distress and the added pressure of making sure my participants were safe during the experiment with COVID-19. When the researcher did this experiment they found it hard to keep a clear head and act professionally to make sure that nothing affected the research and the experiment. All these skills I have learned is shown by the questionnaire where 100 percent of people said they enjoyed the experiment and that the instructions were easy to understand. To improve this the researcher could have acted more efficiently and professionally and focused directly on the tasks at hand. Overall I believe that I had done my first experiment very well, as my experiment went well and participants were happy and my research skills have improved dramatically due to doing this experiment.

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Psychology Report: Experiment on Stroop Effect While Naming the List of Colors. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from
“Psychology Report: Experiment on Stroop Effect While Naming the List of Colors.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022,
Psychology Report: Experiment on Stroop Effect While Naming the List of Colors. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 May 2023].
Psychology Report: Experiment on Stroop Effect While Naming the List of Colors [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2023 May 24]. Available from:
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