Several sources of interference may simultaneously affect the onset of the well-known “Stroop effect.” Among them is the semantic component, which is reflected in the gradient or semantic effect. This effect consists of an increase in the amount of interference as the semantic distance between the word and the color concept decreases. Shepard (Science 237:1317–1323, 1987) relates psychological space, measured through multidimensional scaling, to mean response times. The present investigation aims to study the function relating the semantic gradient with the psychological distance between the word and the color in a Stroop task. After measuring the gradient, we obtained the subjective rating of the degree of dissimilarity of the gradient words with the concept of “color.” In our work, we show that the amount of interference in a Stroop task increases when the semantic distance from the word to the color concept decreases, and it does so exponentially. We replicated the study with different stimuli to test the robustness of the results.
Stroop color-word test Stimulus generalization Generalization (cognitive) Word associations
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Alperson BL (1967) The effect of semantic relatedness and practice on the color-word test. Michigan State University, East LansingGoogle Scholar
Cohen JD, Dunbar K, McClelland JL (1990) On the control of automatic processes: a parallel distributed processing account of the Stroop effect. Psychol Rev 97:332–361PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalrymple-AIford EC (1972) Associative facilitation and interference in the Stroop color-word task. Percept Psychophys 11:274–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dalrymple-Alford EC, Azkoul J (1972) The locus of interference in the Stroop and related tasks. Percept Psychophys 11:385–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davis CJ, Perea M (2005) BuscaPalabras: a program for deriving orthographic and phonological neighbourhood statistics and other psycholinguistic indices in Spanish. Behavior Research Methods 37(4):665–671. doi:10.3758/BF03192738PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dyer EN (1973) Same and different judgments for word-color pairs with “irrelevant” words or colors: evidence for word-code comparisons. J Exp Psychol 98:102–108PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dyer EN (1974) Stroop interference with long preexposures of the word: comparison of pure and mixed preexposure sequences. Bull Psychon Soc 3:8–10Google Scholar
Klein GS (1964) Semantic power measured through the interference of words with color-naming. Am J Psychol 77:576–588PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kole JA, Healy AF, Bourne LE Jr (2008) Cognitive complications moderate the speed-accuracy tradeoff in data entry: a cognitive antidote to inhibition. Appl Cogn Psychol 22:917–937. doi:10.1002/acp.1401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kruskal JB (1964a) Multidimensional scaling by optimizing goodness to fit to a nonmetric hypothesis. Psychometrika 29:1–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar