Sensory systems


Kim, Yang, Yamaguchi and Proctor (2008) proposed that in our sensory systems which receive and retrieve infinite amount of information in our daily lives would tend to be selective in what we want to retrieve. Hence, we only have one third of the information being processed out of the whole to motivate our goals (e.g. what we want out of our lives) and intentions (e.g. how are we going to make the most out of it).

However, in cases such as the Stroop color naming task, it need not allow the subjects to be selective in processing the information even though the information was insignificant to the subjects. For example, in the Stroop color-naming task, subjects are instructed to name the color of the target as immediate as possible (e.g. BLUE printed in blue ink) responses were much more accurate. When target colors are incongruent (e.g. YELLOW printed in blue ink) responses were significantly slow and more prone to errors. (Stroop, 1935)

Despite the fact that the instructions are to ignore the word's meaning, color-naming responses are slower because our brain naturally recognizes alphabets instead of colors first. Therefore, when the meaning and the target color are incongruent than when they are congruent or when no color word is present, subject's performance level was likely to lag behind and distracted by the irrelevance of information. (Kim, Yang, Yamaguchi and Proctor, 2008)

Cognitive psychologists have come to a conclusion that automatic process is involuntary if it does not require any attention (Kahneman and Chajczyk, 1983). Conversely, automaticity is broken down into parts to explain its phenomena. For an experiment to be called strongly automatic, the materials given to the subjects should not be beneficial "when attention is allocated to it and is not impaired when attention is allocated elsewhere, yielding explicit inferences with effort to the inefficiencies of manipulating attention (Kahneman & Treisman, 1983, p.497). Whilst, partly automatic refers to materials that can occur without seeking attention, even if attention is required to facilitate it. Hence, there is no exact explanation to substantiate these actions as being partial or strong sense. As a result, strong automaticity was conveniently a benchmark and null hypothesis derivation for researchers to examine on the task.

For example, Posner and Snyder (1975) conducted an experiment acquiring letter-matching task. For each trial, the subjects were presented with either a letter or plus sign. The task was to decide as immediate as possible which letter is which (e.g. letter A associates with the card AA).Posner and Snyder (1975) proposed that there is automatic parallel because the brain would automatically present the answer via learned memory stimulus. Likewise, there is no prevention for automatic attention processing to occur because it is an involuntary control. Hence, it is significantly important to include this study into my report.

Shiffrin and Schneider (1977) carried out an array of research on visual and attention. For example, they presented the subjects a set of numbers to memorize beforehand. Afterwards, numbers were jumbled into sets and instructed the subjects to name them the number they previously remembered when the set of numbers were displayed. Rapidly, subjects have to decide whether any of the letters were previously registered into their memory. Both suggested that responses will focus on a particular stimulus.

The present study was designed to replicate the study of Stroop effect (1935), by including a set of nonsense words printed in different colors compared to reading color names printed in different colors. It was hypothesized that reading color names that are printed in different colors is much higher while reading a set of nonsense words printed in different colors would yield a lower result.

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