The effect of a preceding cue on the conflict solving mechanism

Liat Goldfarb, Avishai Henik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In everyday life cues and signs are used in order to improve our performance and to modify and control our behavior. This study examines whether cues can improve the performance of the mental mechanism in charge of solving conflicts when the nature of the irrelevant task remains constant. In two experiments participants performed the Stroop task in which they were asked to name the color of a stimulus while ignoring its meaning. Half the trialswere preceded by a conflict-cue containing information about an upcoming conflict. In addition, conflict trial proportionswere manipulated.Wefound that onlywhen the probability of conflict is lowcan cues alter the conflict solving mechanism. These findings are discussed in the context of the nature of the control mechanism and its tendency to minimize the cost of mental resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-353
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2013


  • Automaticity
  • Conflict
  • Control
  • Cue
  • Stroop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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