Irrelevant information that enters the focus of attention and impairs performance.
Related to Automatic Processing of Task-Irrelevant Information (e.g., Flanker and Stroop Effects)
The basic principle of the Stroop effect (Stroop 1935) is that irrelevant information from one dimension of the stimulus to be processed interferes with the task performance related to a different dimension. This can be observed by contrasting two conditions in which the irrelevant dimension is either congruent or incongruent with the desired response in the primary dimension. For example, the classic effect involves color naming, and it is observed that when a color word is presented, the speed to name the color of the ink is faster when the word and the color (“red” presented in red ink) are compatible compared with when the word and the color are incompatible (“red” presented in blue ink). The Stroop effect is not limited to color naming. Researchers have investigated the...
References and Readings
- Casey, B. J., Thomas, K. M., Welsh, T. F., Badagaiyan, R. D., Eccard, C. H., Jennings, J. R., & Crone, E. A. (2000). Dissociation of response conflict, attentional selection, and expectancy with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 97, 8728–8733.CrossRefGoogle Scholar