What Stroop tasks can tell us about selective attention from childhood to adulthood

Wright, B.C. ORCID: 0000-0002-4946-9761, 2017. What Stroop tasks can tell us about selective attention from childhood to adulthood. British Journal of Psychology, 108 (3), pp. 583-607. ISSN 0007-1269

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A rich body of research concerns causes of Stroop effects plus applications of Stroop. However, several questions remain. We included assessment of errors with children and adults (N = 316), who sat either a task wherein each block employed only trials of one type (unmixed task) or where every block comprised of a mix of the congruent, neutral, and incongruent trials. Children responded slower than adults and made more errors on each task. Contrary to some previous studies, interference (the difference between neutral and incongruent condition) showed no reaction time (RT) differences by group or task, although there were differences in errors. By contrast, facilitation (the difference between neutral and congruent condition) was greater in children than adults, and greater on the unmixed task than the mixed task. After considering a number of theoretical accounts, we settle on the inadvertent word‐reading hypothesis, whereby facilitation stems from children and the unmixed task promoting inadvertent reading particularly in the congruent condition. Stability of interference RT is explained by fixed semantic differences between neutral and incongruent conditions, for children versus adults and for unmixed versus mixed task. We conclude that utilizing two tasks together may reveal more about how attention is affected in other groups.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: British Journal of Psychology
Creators: Wright, B.C.
Publisher: John Wiley on behalf of the British Psychological Society
Date: August 2017
Volume: 108
Number: 3
ISSN: 0007-1269
Rights: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 14 Aug 2019 13:17
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2019 13:17
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/37308

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