Strategies that reduce Stroop interference

Palfi, B, Parris, B A, Collins, A F and Dienes, Z (2022) Strategies that reduce Stroop interference. Royal Society Open Science, 9 (3). pp. 1-19. ISSN 2054-5703

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A remarkable example of reducing Stroop interference is provided by the word blindness post-hypnotic suggestion (a suggestion to see words as meaningless during the Stroop task). This suggestion has been repeatedly demonstrated to halve Stroop interference when it is given to highly hypnotizable people. In order to explore how highly hypnotizable individuals manage to reduce Stroop interference when they respond to the word blindness suggestion, we tested four candidate strategies in two experiments outside of the hypnotic context. A strategy of looking away from the target words and a strategy of visual blurring demonstrated compelling evidence for substantially reducing Stroop interference in both experiments. However, the pattern of results produced by these strategies did not match those of the word blindness suggestion. Crucially, neither looking away nor visual blurring managed to speed up incongruent responses, suggesting that neither of these strategies is the likely underlying mechanism of the word blindness suggestion. Although the current results did not unravel the mystery of the word blindness suggestion, they showed that there are multiple voluntary ways through which participants can dramatically reduce Stroop interference.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cognitive control, Stroop effect, Post-hypnotic suggestion, Higher order thoughts, Metacognition
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2022 08:18
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 17:30

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