Neuroscience for Kids (and Adults)! The Stroop Effect
October 30, 2019
The famous "Stroop Effect" is named after J. Ridley Stroop who discovered this strange phenomenon in the 1930s. Here is your job: name the colors of the following words. Do NOT read the words...rather, say the color of the words. For example, if the word "BLUE" is printed in a red color, you should say "RED". Say the colors as fast as you can. It is not as easy as you might think!
The words themselves have a strong influence over your ability to say the color. The interference between the different information (what the words say and the color of the words) your brain receives causes a problem. There are two theories that may explain the Stroop effect:
Speed of Processing Theory: the interference occurs because words are read faster than colors are named.
Selective Attention Theory: the interference occurs because naming colors requires more attention than reading words.
I think that this puzzle would be easier for a very young child than for older children or adults. Try this out on some small kids who know their colors, but cannot yet read! I would imagine that the children would not get confused by this puzzle because the words would not have any meaning to them.