Stroop-like effects in a new-code learning task: A cognitive load theory perspective

Batel Hazan-Liran, Paul Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To determine whether and how learning is biased by competing task-irrelevant information that creates extraneous cognitive load, we assessed the efficiency of university students with a learning paradigm in two experiments. The paradigm asked participants to learn associations between eight words and eight digits. We manipulated congruity of the digits’ ink colour with the words’ semantics. In Experiment 1 word stimuli were colour words (e.g., blue, yellow) and in Experiment 2 colour-related word concepts (e.g., sky, banana). Marked benefits and costs on learning due to variation in extraneous cognitive load originating from processing task-irrelevant information were evident. Implications for cognitive load theory and schooling are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1878-1891
Number of pages14
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Experimental Psychology Society.


  • Cognitive load theory
  • Learning
  • Stroop effect
  • Task-irrelevant information
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Stroop-like effects in a new-code learning task: A cognitive load theory perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this