Translation And Competition Among Internal Representations In A Reverse Stroop Effect

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Perception And Psychophysics


In two experiments, the contributions of internal and external competition in a task known to produce a reverse Stroop effect were investigated. In this paradigm, the verbal meaning of an incongruent Stroop stimulus is identified by pointing to a patch of matching color — a task made difficult by the in-congruent print color. The experiments showed that there was somewhat more interference when the(irrelevant) color in which the target word was printed was available as an alternate response patch than when it was not. However, significantly more interference was determined by whether the (irrelevant) print color belonged to the set of colors actually used as target words in the course of the experiment. Moreover, the same patterns of interference emerged when the task was altered so that the mere presence of the correct color had to be indicated with a keypress, rather than by pointing to the color’s location. Consistent with translation models of Stroop interference, these results demonstrate the theoretical importance of competition among internal representations, rather than among stimuli or responses.