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CUSTOMISABLE STROOP TASK

The Stroop Effect is one of the most widely employed tasks in cognitive psychology. Originally designed by J.R Stroop (1935), it refers to the interference that an automated skill such as reading causes when carrying out a non-reading task.

In the original Stroop task (Stroop, 1935), participants were shown a list of colour words (e.g. red, green, blue, yellow) or symbols (like XXXXX), printed in different coloured ink. They were then asked to name the colour of the ink, and the experimenter measured how long it took them to finish naming all the colours on list. Stroop found that participants took a lot longer to name the colours on the list  where the colour words and the colour if the ink were mismatched (incongruent) than when they were congruent, or when the stimulus was a list of symbols (Stroop also included trials where participants were asked to read colour words printed in black ink – you can read the original paper here):

Sometimes researchers would divide the time it took a participant to read the list by the number of items on the list to get an approximate reaction time for individual words (See MacLeod, 1991, for a review of over 400 studies of the Stroop effect in the first 50 years since the original publication). Nowadays, it is common to administer the Stroop task on computer, which allows the researcher to present one word at a time and get highly accurate reaction times in millisecond range for each stimulus.

The Psychology Lab can offer a a ready-to-go Stroop task built in SuperLab – software for building psychology experiments and collecting data – which you are welcome to use in your study. The Lab’s version of the Stroop task takes up to 10 minutes to complete. The experiment consist of:

  • 24 practice trials:
    • 8 trials where participants are asked to classify the font colour of “XXXXX” symbols
    • 8 trials where participants are asked to classify the font colour of non-colour words, such as tree, desk, shoe, etc.
    • 8 trials where participants are asked to classify the font colour of colour words, such as blue, green, red, and yellow.
  • 120 experimental trials where participants are asked to classify the colour of colour words. Half of the trials are congruent condition and half are incongruent condition. Congruent and incongruent trials are presented in random order, with the option for a short break after 60 trials.

Participants can respond to stimuli by using keys of a computer keyboard, or one of the response pads with coloured keys.

The Stroop task available in the Psychology Lab is highly customisable. You can adjust the number of trials presented, the instructions shown to participants as well as the type of stimuli. Here are some examples of how the Stroop Task can be modified:

  • Emotional Stroop effect (see Frings et al., for a recent review) refers to a phenomenon where participants are faster in classifying ink colour of neutral words, as opposed to emotional words such as attack, death, sad, etc. This effect has be utilised in studying social anxiety (Askew, Hagel & Morgan, 2015), emotion regulation (Kappes & Bermeitinger, 2016), depression (Mitterschiffthaler, 2008), or PTSD (Cisler et al., 2011).
  • Metcalf and Pammer (2011) assessed attentional bias in massively multiplayer online role-playing gamers by including game related words in the Stroop task
  • White (2009) used added words related to sociability to the Stroop Task to explore whether salient gender identity activates gender stereotypes among student population.

We can offer advice or training on how to modify the experiment to suit your needs. Contact the psychology technicians if you’d like to learn more about how the lab can help with your study.

 

References

Askew, C., Hagel, A., & Morgan, J. (2015). Vicarious learning of children’s social-anxiety-related fear beliefs and emotional stroop bias. Emotion, 15(4), 501-510. 10.1037/emo0000083

Cisler, J. M., Wolitzky-Taylor, K. B., Adams, T. G., Babson, K. A., Badour, C. L., & Willems, J. L. (2011). The emotional stroop task and posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(5), 817-828. 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.03.007

Frings, C., Englert, J., Wentura, D., & Bermeitinger, C. (2010;2009;). Decomposing the emotional stroop effect. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63(1), 42-49. 10.1080/17470210903156594

Kappes, C., & Bermeitinger, C. (2016). The emotional stroop as an emotion regulation task. Experimental Aging Research, 42(2), 161-194. 10.1080/0361073X.2016.1132890

MacLeod, C. (1991). Half a century of research on the stroop effect – an integrative review. Psychological Bulletin, 109(2), 163-203. 10.1037/0033-2909.109.2.163

Metcalf, O., & Pammer, K. (2011). Attentional bias in excessive massively multiplayer online role-playing gamers using a modified stroop task. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(5), 1942-1947. 10.1016/j.chb.2011.05.001

Mitterschiffthaler, M., Williams, S., Walsh, N., Cleare, A., Donaldson, C., Scott, J., & Fu, C. (2008). Neural basis of the emotional stroop interference effect in major depression. Psychological Medicine, 38(2), 247-256. 10.1017/S0033291707001523

Stroop, J. (1935; 1992). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions (reprinted from journal experimental-psychology, vol 18, pg 643-662, 1935). Journal of Experimental Psychology-General, 121(1), 15-23.

White, J. B., & Gardner, W. L. (2009). Think women, think warm: Stereotype content activation in women with a salient gender identity, using a modified stroop task. Sex Roles, 60(3), 247-260. 10.1007/s11199-008-9526-z

Guidance for online recruitment

Here are a few documents that provide additional guidance for online recruitment. If you’re a psychology student, please note that these documents are meant to be used as an addition to the online recruitment workshop that you would have attended.

Getting started Summary of key
functions for those
who have already
attended the workshop.

Download Getting Started guide

(mobile-friendly: Getting Started)

Question types Overview
of all question types
that can be created
with Qualtrics

Download Question Types guide

(mobile-friendly: Question Types)

Detailed Question Types guide
Uploading graphics
to surveys
How to upload images,
audio, and video files to your surveys

Download Graphics guide

(mobile-friendly: Graphics guide)

Detailed Graphics guide
Hot spot questions How to create hot
spot questions
in your survey

Download Hot Spot guide

(mobile friendly: Hot Spot guide)

Detailed Hot Spot guide
Heat map questions How to create heat
maps in your survey

Download Heat Map guide

(mobile friendly: Heat map guide)

Detailed Heat Map guide
Timing questions How to record click
times and submission
times in your survey

Download Timing guide 

(mobile friendly: timing questions)

Detailed Timing guide
Randomisation How to randomise
answer choices,
questions, and blocks

Download Randomisation guide

(mobile-friendly: Randomisation guide)

Detailed Randomisation guide
Importing survey data to SPSS How to get your data
from Qualtrics to SPSS

Download Importing to SPSS guide

(mobile-friendly: importing to SPSS guide)

Guide for supervisors Collaborating
with students and
approving studies

Download guide for supervisors

(mobile friendly: guide for supervisors)

If you have questions or need additional guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

View the Psychology Research Privacy Policy

(Download accessible version of the Psychology Research Privacy Policy)

RECRUITING ONLINE

Qualtrics is an easy to use web-based survey tool to conduct survey research and other data collection research. It can be used for simple Likert type responses as well as free text questions, what’s more it has the ability to ask more complex questions, do all sorts of randomisation and present a wide range of stimuli such as images and videos.  Qualtrics is easy to use to build surveys, distribute surveys and analyse responses – all from any online location, any time you need!

Psychology students recruiting participants online must use Qualtrics when they reach their final year.

Level 4 and Level 5 psychology students must complete 2 online studies and earn at least 10 Research Points from taking part in face to face studies per year before they can use Qualtrics or SONA for their dissertation in Level 6. This gives students really valuable experience of participating in studies, and enables dissertation students reach ambitious  recruitment targets. Dissertation students  award 1 Research Point for every online survey participants complete. Members of the public can also participate.

For… dissertation students new to Qualtrics who want to create a survey and recruit

You will gain access to your Qualtrics account when you attend one of the dissertation workshops for online recruitment. Look out for an e-mail about these workshops in the first semester. Your study won’t go live until you request approval from your supervisor, so please feel free to experiment as soon as you have your account. Qualtrics is easy to use, and you can put your study up yourself with no help if you’d prefer. Guidance will appear here in due course.

Log in to Qualtrics.

For… Level 4,5 and 6 psychology students who want to participate

You can start participating in online studies at any time. You must earn 10 Research Points per year from participating in face to face studies.  2 of these must be from online surveys; you receive 1 Research Point for every survey you complete. All psychology students are strongly encouraged to take part in as many studies as they can, as they will be helping dissertation students and gaining insight that will definitely help when it comes to dissertation time and thinking about a career! A prize for the Level 4 and Level 5 student participating in the most studies will be awarded at the next BUDS conference.

See available studies

If you’re having trouble loading the page above, please remember to disable any ad-blockers you may have installed. 

For… Anybody else who wants to participate in psychology studies: 

Anybody can participate in studies, not just students. You can participate by clicking on the link provided with each study. If you find a study interesting, feel free to share it on social media or send it to friends to help the researchers reach their recruitment numbers.

See available studies.

If you’re having trouble loading the page above, please remember to disable ad-blocker. 

 


Read the Psychology Research Privacy Policy

(Download accessible version of the Psychology Research Privacy Policy)

More guidance on online recruitment.

Got questions? Contact a psychology technician!

RECRUITING FACE-TO-FACE

All psychology dissertation students recruiting human participants face to face must use SONA when they reach their third year.

Level 4 and Level 5 psychology students must earn 10 Research Points  per year before they can use SONA or Qualtrics for their dissertation in Level 6. This gives students really valuable experience of participating in studies, and enables dissertation students reach ambitious  recruitment targets. Dissertation students  award participants 1 Research Point for every 15 minutes participation, and bonus 5 Research Points for face-to-face studies. Members of the public can also create accounts and participate.

For… dissertation students new to SONA:

Your SONA account will be upgraded to a researcher account when you attend one of the SONA dissertation workshops. Look out for an email about the SONA workshops in the first semester! Your study won’t go live until you click “send request” asking the administrator for approval so please feel free to experiment as soon as you have your account. SONA is easy to use and you can easily put your study on yourself with no help if you’d prefer. Everybody using SONA to recruit participants should read the SONA and ethics document, it will hopefully be useful for your ethics application documents!

Read more:  Advice on how to complete your study information page on SONA.

(Download accessible version of the completing study information page on SONA document)

For… Level 4, 5 and 6 psychology students who want to participate:

You’ll be given a participant account in Level 4 and will be able to  begin participating in studies as soon as you’ve logged on. You must earn at least 10 Research Points per year for participation. You receive 1 Research Point for every 15 minutes of participation + an additional 5 research Points for face-to-face studies. 2 of these Research Points will need to come from  participating in online surveys, you earn 1 Research Point for every online survey you complete. All psychology students are strongly encouraged to take part in as many studies as they can as they will be helping dissertation students and gaining insight that will definitely help when it comes to dissertation time and thinking about a career! A prize for the Level 4 and Level 5 student participating in the most studies will be awarded at the next BUDS conference.  Very Important: Psychology students must only use the participant account which is emailed to them from SONA, they are forbidden for requesting additional participant accounts (as set out below).

For… Anybody else who wants to participate in psychology studies:

Anybody can participate in studies, not just students. If you are a Brighton psychology student you must use your participant account. Members of public and non-psychology students can participate by clicking the link to SONA at the bottom of this page, clicking “Request Account”, and filling in the information asked for – you’ll need to give yourself a username, anything will do! You’ll get an email with your account details and be able to click a link to start participating.

For… Supervisors:

All psychology dissertation supervisors are automatically enrolled as PIs (called Principal Investigators on SONA). Your students set you as their PI when they register their study. If one of your students puts their study on SONA and asks for it to be approved to go live you will get an email from a psychology technician asking you to confirm you are content with the study. Only when you approve it will the student’s study go live and they can start recruiting.

For… Everyone

If you have any questions, contact the psychology technicians! There’s also a long guide to SONA, with everything that you could possibly need to know. We do not recommend you read it all, but it could be a useful reference if you have specific questions.

Finally! How do I find SONA? Please click: Take me to SONA!

Please take the time to read the Psychology Research Privacy Policy.

(Download accessible version of the Psychology Research Privacy Policy)

Story Completion

 

Story completion is a method used or qualitative research, wherein participants express their views on a topic by completing a story normally started by the researcher. This post will give you an overview of the method, including some tips and practicalities to think about when designing a research study that uses story completion.

Example of a story completion form for a participant. The beginning of the story is written in two lines at the top of the form and the participant can finish the story in the space below.
Continue reading Story Completion