Eliminating the Stroop Effect Meredith Hughes, Grade 9 Problem Can warping the shape of words written in different colors eliminate the Stroop effect? Research Dr. John Ridley Stroop discovered the Stroop effect in 1935. The Stroop effect is the signals that are sent to the brain when a person is reading the color of a written word. Differences in required attention cause reading the colors in which words are written to take longer than reading the word. The anterior cingulate gyrus is the part of the brain between the left and right halves that controls “executive functions” such as the Stroop effect. Executive functions are activities that involve either memory, attention, problem-solving, or multi-tasking. Cognitive flexibility is the ability of the brain to rearrange data in accordance to the situation. Many scientists believe that by warping the shape of the words written, the Stroop effect can be eliminated. Hypothesis If words are warped, then the Stroop effect will be negated. ◦ Many scientists believe that warping the shape of the words written can lessen the difference in signals sent to the brain and therefore make executive functions easier to perform. Materials: 20 volunteers 1 homemade Stroop test 1 warped Stroop test from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/sciencefairprojects/project_ideas/HumBeh_p029.sht ml 1 stopwatch Test A Test A: Please state the color of the ink in the following words. Test B Test B: Please state the color of the ink in the following figures. Procedure 1. The Stroop tests were produced. 2. Twenty volunteers were found. 3.Volunteers were split into four groups of five people. 4. One group was tested on the regular Stroop test. 5. Three groups were tested on the warped Stroop test. 6. Data was recorded and organized. 7. Data was averaged and the standard deviation was found. 8. Results were concluded. Control: the regular Stroop test Constants: same stopwatch, same tests for each person in the group, 25 total figures in each test Independent Variable: the Stroop test with warped words Dependent Variable: The outcome of the tests; the difference in reading time averages between the two tests DATA AVERAGE OF ALL GROUPS WITH STANDARD DEVIATION DATA Comparison:Test A vs. Test B Seconds Eliminating the Stroop Effect 14.35 14.3 14.25 14.2 14.15 14.1 14.05 14 13.95 Test A Test B Test Conclusion The hypothesis of “If words are warped, then the Stroop effect will be negated” was not supported by this experiment. Advancements that could be taken to improve this experiment include more volunteers with a wider range of age, gender, and level of intellect. Possible flaws of this experiment include the fact that all of the volunteers were high school females. Acknowledgements Works Cited: ◦ http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fairprojects/project_ideas/HumBeh_p029.shtml ◦ http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/words.html ◦ http://snre.umich.edu/eplab/demos/st0/stroopdesc.ht ml ◦ http://www.amenclinics.com/clinics/Professionals/how -we-can-help/brain-science/anterior-cingulate-gyrusacg/ ◦ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC53241/ Thank you for your attention.