AotD: The Musical Stroop Effect – Opening a New Avenue to Research on Automatisms
Article of the Day:
The Musical Stroop Effect – Opening a New Avenue to Research on Automatisms
by Grégoire, L., Perruchet, P., & Poulin-Charronnat, B. (2013)
(Experimental Psychology, 60(4). 269–278. DOI: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000197)
Background & Research
The Stroop effect, that naming colours is slower when the coloured stimulus consists of an incongruent colour word (e.g., the word “green”, printed in red), is one of the most famous findings in research on cognitive processes. This phenomenon has been very useful in studying automatisms, in particular the fact that automated processes related to well-practised tasks can create interference in other tasks where they are as such irrelevant.
Many variants of the standard version exist, including for instance picture-word and position-word variants. There are however limitations to the use of any variant employing word reading, mainly because it is quite difficult to manipulate variables related to reading in research settings. Reading practice cannot be restrained for practical and ethical concerns, and, further, reading ability is acquired at an age when other very significant cognitive changes are occurring. Any observations regarding changes in performance (and interference effects) over time may be due to many other factors.
This article reports on two experiments to study the possibility of using the automaticity of note naming in musicians in place of reading as a source of a Stroop-like effect. Continue Reading…