The Stroop Effect

Students are introduced to the Stroop Effect (see this Wikipedia article for an introduction). They are then asked to design and conduct an experiment to test the effect. The introduction provided is quite open-ended, allowing students to proceed in a variety of ways.

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Overview of task

Students are introduced to the Stroop Effect (see this Wikipedia article for an introduction). They are then asked to design and conduct an experiment to test the effect. The introduction provided is quite open-ended, allowing students to proceed in a variety of ways.

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Strand

Statistics

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Prior knowledge

Students will need some experience of experimental design if they are to carry out the task with minimal guidance. Alternatively, teachers could provide more guidance and treat the task as an introduction to experimental design principles.

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Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

•AQA

•C&G

•Eduqas

•Pearson / Edexcel

•OCR

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Suggested approaches

This activity lends itself to work in small groups. Use the supplied PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate the effect (see the presenter’s notes supplied for the slides), and explain the task to the class. Either allow them to start the task, or first discuss the principles underpinning a successful experiment.

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Resources/documentation

In addition to these teacher notes/ guidance the following resources are provided:

  • Stroop Effect PowerPoint presentation, with notes.
  • Three sheets of cards to be cut out: Correct colour, Incorrect colour, Different words. These can be used as needed in student experiments.

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Relevant digital technologies

An electronic timer (e.g. on a mobile phone) will make it easier to time responses while watching for errors. Spreadsheets can be used to tabulate and chart results.

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Possible extensions

This task could be kept short, or extended into a longer project that looks at a range of factors (e.g. age or gender) or incorporates sophisticated statistical ideas.

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Acknowledgement

Developed by Bob Lewchenko at Hornsea School and Language Centre, East Yorkshire.