New data analysis of the Stroop matching task calls for a reevaluation of theory

Liat Goldfarb, Avishai Henik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Stroop matching tasks, participants indicate whether the color of an object matches the meaning of a color word printed in color. Previously in this journal, b6Luo (1999) concluded that interference between two incongruent representations of the same attribute (ink color) occurs prior to the response stage. However, this conclusion was based on questionable data analysis. We suggest analyzing the data by separating "same" and "different" responses and then analyzing three congruency conditions within the "different" responses: (a) congruence between word color and word meaning, (b) congruence between word color and object color, and (c) incongruence between word color, word meaning, and object color. In an experiment similar to Luo's, such an analysis revealed that responding was slowest in the first condition. This pattern of results does not fit with previous conclusions regarding this task, but rather indicates that task conflict and response competition contribute to interference. This analysis has implications for matching tasks other than the Stroop matching task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-100
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation, Grant 859/01.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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