What is the Stroop Effect?
The Stroop effect, discovered by J. Ridley Stroop, is an interesting phenomenon where you say the color of a word but not the name of the word. An example of a Stroop test could could be the word “purple” but the color of the word is red. Your task is to say the color of the word instead of the word.
The written word has a big influence over our ability to name the color, and often we get tripped up and we end up saying the word rather than the color when doing the test.
Essentially this test measures cognitive flexibility and selective attention, and one of the tests to measure any brain damage.
Stroop Effect Explanation
There are a few explanations of this effect:
Read the following group of words.
Now, ignore what each word says and just name each color.
If you tripped up a bit on the second group, you’re not alone. You just experienced the Stroop Effect which basically means your brain reads on auto-pilot, and it’s so efficient that it interferes with the harder task of naming the colors.
Here are other Stroop tests you can do:
- Stroop test on Youtube:
- Stroop test on Mentalfloss.com:
- And this is another Stroop test from University of North Texas website.
Although the Stroop test has a practical application, it’s also a fun and weird brain game you can try. Have you done the Stroop test? What do you think of it? Share in the comments.