Resources, Uncategorized

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.



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, Resources, Tech

Looking for a source of free images?

Most of the images you find on the web will have some sort of copyright or ownership rights that will prevent you using them in lectures, posters or as dissertation stimuli for example. There are a number of free sources of images, and here they are! If you find any more please let Joe the psychology technician know. and  are searchable sources for free images.

You can also use to search Flickr for images that are licensed for reuse. It allows you to filter by commericial/non-commercial reuse so it is very helpful.

You can also try:

More guidance for University of Brighton students using images





Resources, Tech

Research Grade eye tracking and psychophysiology equipment

The lab is home to a range of eye tracking and psychophysiology monitoring kit that can be used by staff and dissertation students.

As part of the strategic research development of the School of Applied Social Science, the lab is very interested in making innovative partnerships with other Schools in the University of Brighton using the cutting edge research grade equipment equipment outlined below.

Read more about the eye-tracking and psychophysiology equipment.

Here is more information on the specific equipment:

Mobile eye tracker (SMI RED250 mobile) This is a screen-based  laptop sized eye tracker capable of measuring eye movements, fixation duration and pupilometry.
Eye tracking glasses (SMI ETG) This is a wearable and totally mobile eye tracker capable of measuring the scene viewed by the participant, the participant’s gaze within the scene and the audio present at the time.
Psychophysiology monitoring equipment (BioPac MP160 with BioNomadix wireless recorders)  This allows static measurement of blood pressure and response monitoring, and wireless monitoring of EEG, ECG, EMG, Pulse Rate and EDA (see presentation above for more info.

If you are a researcher from another School in the University of Brighton and would like to explore using the equipment in a partnership please note that any  partnership must meet the following criteria:

  • Professional level research;
  • Not speculative;
  • Pilot project, with the aim to lead to a research grant application;
  • Health related proposals are particularly welcome.

External partners will be allocated a member of SASS research staff who will work with the external partner to take the work forwards. Please note that the equipment, lab and psychology technician are provided primarily for psychology students and staff, and that equipment and support can only be accessed between May and November (when the lab is not being used for dissertation data collection).

Please speak to Jay or Martina if you want to explore using this equipment.

Facilities, Guidance, Resources

Dissertation support

See below for a 30 minute virtual lab tour showcasing the support, spaces and equipment we can offer those embarking on their dissertations.


Download the slides here.


Want to know more?

2 page guide – support QUALitative dissertations

(accessible guide for qualitative dissertations)

2 page guide – support for QUANTitative dissertations

(accessible guide for quantitative dissertations)

We’re very happy to chat about specific issues, the earlier the better in your thinking! Please contact a psychology technician today!

Guidance, Resources


The psychology lab has created an implementation of the online program, Cyberball. Further information about how to use and reference Cyberball can be found in the User Manual for Cyberball 4. The program can be accessed at the following link: . Please note that you will need to customise the URL to make it function in the way you desire – the psychology technicians can help you if you are unsure.

Resources, Tech

Want SPSS on your own computer?

spss logo





See the link below access software:




If you are a student at the University of Brighton, you can purchase a CD containing SPSS for use on your own PC or Mac for £7 per year.

CDs/USBs are available from the Computer Store on the First floor of the Watts Building, or the vending machine in the Falmer Library computer pool room.

Resources, Tech

Equipment guide – Voice recorders

Olympus VN712pc

The lab has a number of Olympus VN-712PC voice recorders which can be borrowed. They are very simple to use and give good quality recordings for interviews and focus groups.

They run on AAA batteries which we supply you with (battery life is around 70 hours). We can supply you with additional memory, but most people find the built in memory is fine – allowing between 131 and 823 hours depending on the quality setting. We can provide you with a USB cable that you can use to download your recordings to your computer, or Joe the psychology technician can put your recordings onto a USB stick if you’d prefer.

Download the user manual here.

If you would like to book one please speak to Joe the psychology technician, who will also make sure you are comfortable using it before booking it out to you.

Guidance, Resources

SPSS and research methods help

Getting started with data analysis

If you’re just getting started with your data analysis, we’re happy to help. The video below goes through a number of steps you need to complete before you can carry out your analysis with SPSS:

Topics covered: 

01:56    Downloading your Qualtrics data
02:55    Cleaning the dataset
05:40    Reverse scoring
13:40    Computing scores
16:42    Defining randomised conditions
22:11    Next steps 

Multiple regression, moderation and mediation

Topics covered: 

00:01:07    Downloading and installing `Process` 
00:04:50    Multiple regression & data screening
00:35:06    Moderation
00:56:50    Mediation
01:11:03    Summary

Remember that the SS511 Psychological Research Methods area on StudentCentral also contains a wealth of resources for data analysis.

If you’re still struggling, get in touch with us!

We also have some additional films to help entering data, coding variables and carrying out statistical tests. You might need to enter your university login and password.

If you are struggling with research methods or SPSS it is much better to get help early on rather than waiting until exam or data analysis time, letting all the questions mount up, getting more and more confused – and finally realising you’ve got a mountain to climb and no more time. No question is too silly – often the questions you think are the silliest are the most useful ones to get clear in your head early on.

Want SPSS on your own computer?

Facilities, Resources

Supporting the Transforming Sexuality and Gender Research Cluster

The Transforming Sexuality and Gender Research cluster brings together a cross-college group of researchers who are conducting research related to LGBTQ lives; sex, sexuality and health; gender and sexuality in childhood; promoting transformative research the use of participatory and creative methods.

The research cluster has funded the Creative Methods Lab and also a range of creative and visual methods resources, which include Lego and a wide range of craft materials. The cluster has funded GoPro cameras, wearable cameras, movable cameras, a BlackMagic Cinema camera, and a suite of image and movie editing software and hardware. Details of some of the equipment can be found here. Members of the cluster can obtain further information about exactly what is available and book the equipment by contacting the technicians.