Memory & Cognition

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 353-359

First online:

On the role of stimulus-response and stimulus-stimulus compatibility in the Stroop effect

  • Jan De HouwerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Ghent University Email author 


Stroop effects might be due to differences in stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) and/or to differences in stimulus-stimulus compatibility (SSC). Recent evidence for the role of SSC is inconclusive, because there were no controls for effects of SRC that are based on short-term associations between stimuli and responses (i.e., associations set up as the result of task instructions). In two experiments, SRC effects were controlled for. Regardless of whether the irrelevant and the relevant stimulus features were separated (Experiment 1) or integrated in one stimulus (Experiment 2), the results revealed an effect of SSC and an effect of SRC that was based on short-term associations. The results thus confirm that both processes at the level of encoding and processes at the level of response selection contribute to the Stroop effect.