Differential effects of viewing positions on standard versus semantic Stroop interference
From their finding that the substantial magnitude of the Stroop interference that occurs when a participant’s initial fixation is directed at the optimal viewing position is eliminated when the initial fixation is directed at the end of a word, Perret and Ducrot (2010) concluded that initial fixation at the latter position likely prevents reading. In the present study, we further examined this interpretation. To this end, the two conflict dimensions (semantic vs. response) that were confounded in the original work were separated within a semantically based Stroop paradigm (Neely & Kahan, 2001) that was administered with vocal (instead of manual) responses. In line with past findings showing greater interference in the vocal task, the reported results indicated that standard Stroop interference was reduced, but not eliminated, thus making the initial interpretation in terms of reading suppression unlikely. This conclusion is further strengthened by the presence of isolated semantic interference, the magnitude of which remained significant and was unaffected by viewing position. In sum, these results show that initial fixation of the end of a word simply reduces (nonsemantic) response competition.
KeywordsStroop interference Viewing position Word reading Automaticity Semantic activation
Both authors thank Stéphanie Ducrot for sharing the computer program used in their original study, Johanna Paul for running the experiment, and Melvin Yap, Derek Besner, Benjamin Parris, and one anonymous reviewer for their helpful advice, comments, and suggestions on previous drafts of the manuscript.
- Augustinova, M., & Ferrand, L. (2013). Social priming of dyslexia and reduction of the Stroop effect: What component of the Stroop effect is actually reduced? Revised manuscript under review.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for behavioral science (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Flaudias, V., Silvert, L., Augustinova, M., Llorca, P.-M., & Ferrand, L. (2013). An electrophysiological investigation of single-letter coloring and spatial cuing in the Stroop task. Submitted manuscript.Google Scholar
- Neely, J. H., & Kahan, T. (2001). Is semantic activation automatic? A critical re-evaluation. In H. L. Roediger III, J. S. Nairne, I. Neath, & A. M. Surprenant (Eds.), The nature of remembering: Essays in honor of Robert G. Crowder (pp. 69–93). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar