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The Stroop effect and ageFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was performed to evaluate the relationship between the age of a person and the Stroop effect. The science project experiment involved giving participants 3 types of tests - reading text written only in black, reading colored text, and announcing the color of the words.

Hypothesis

Older test subjects perform more poorly at the Stroop test.

Scientific Terms

Stroop effect, brain, interference

Background

Stroop effect

The Stroop effect is a test to demonstrate how our brain manages and process conflicting information. It also enables us to evaluate the reaction time taken required understand and complete the conflicting task. Although the Stroop effect was originally discovered in Germany in 1929, the English publication by John Ridley Stroop describing it, was only released in 1935.

Different parts of the brain are responsible for processing different types of tasks. When a person is shown a word written in “BLUE”, but the color of the text is red, one part of the brain will be interpreting the written text. At the same time, another part of the brain will be processing the fact that the text is red in color. This conflicting information causes a delay in the time required by the brain to process the information.

To complete the above task, one part of the brain has to dominate, and at the same time inhibit the response of other parts of the brain. This is called interference and normally the part of brain that handles reading abilities, will dominate.

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
30
Time required:
2 hours to prepare, 2 hours for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements