Lab blog


Program an Implicit Association Task investigating any implicit bias.

We have programmed a generic Implicit Association Task that students are welcome to  repurpose for their own studies. In the past students have looked at implicit biases towards immigrants, race and dress, perception of male and female offenders and others.

This page will contain further information and references in due course. In the meantime please speak to Jay or Martina.

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!

Facilities, Guidance, Tech

Want to produce an academic poster?

PosterThe psychology lab and the computers in the Falmer Library all have Microsoft Publisher, which is an easy way to quickly create professional looking academic posters like the one above, which was created by one of our Level 6 students for the 2016 BUDS conference. If you would like a demo of Microsoft Publisher, please ask the psychology technicians. The lab has produced a short guide which can be used to set up Microsoft Publisher for producing an academic poster and helps you understand some of the key features which also contains links to further information.

Further support on Microsoft Publisher can be found on Microsoft’s website.

Facilities, Guidance

Software for QUALITATIVE analysis – Nvivo.

NVivo is qualitative analysis software developed by QSR International. All of the lab’s computers have Nvivo installed on them, and it is also available on the library computers. If you would like a demo of NVivo please speak to a psychology technician.

Here’s a short presentation introducing NVivo. If you’d like a step by step guide to help you explore some of NVivo’s basic features in your own time, please find a computer with NVivo installed (all computers in the lab have it), and download the NVivo worksheet.

Full details of NVivo can be found on the manufacturer’s website.

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.