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Distributional analyses reveal the polymorphic nature of the Stroop interference effect: It’s about (response) time.

Martinon, L. M., Ferrand, L., Burca, M., Hasshim, N., Lakhzoum, D., Parris, B. A., Silvert, L. and Augustinova, M., 2024. Distributional analyses reveal the polymorphic nature of the Stroop interference effect: It’s about (response) time. Memory and Cognition. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.3758/s13421-024-01538-3


The study addressed the still-open issue of whether semantic (in addition to response) conflict does indeed contribute to Stroop interference (which along with facilitation contributes to the overall Stroop effect also known as Congruency effect). To this end, semantic conflict was examined across the entire response time (RT) distribution (as opposed to mean RTs). Three (out of four) reported experiments, along with cross-experimental analyses, revealed that semantic conflict was absent in the participants’ faster responses. This result characterizes Stroop interference as a unitary phenomenon (i.e., driven uniquely by response conflict). When the same participants’ responses were slower, Stroop interference became a composite phenomenon with an additional contribution of semantic conflict that was statistically independent of both response conflict and facilitation. While the present findings allow us to account for the fact that semantic conflict has not been consistently found in past studies, further empirical and theoretical efforts are still needed to explain why exactly it is restricted to longer responses. Indeed, since neither unitary nor composite models can account for this polymorphic nature of Stroop interference on their own, the implications for the current state of theory are outlined.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Distributional analyses; Response conflict; Response speed; Semantic conflict; Stroop effect
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:39746
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:26 Apr 2024 10:34
Last Modified:26 Apr 2024 10:35


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