Stringsuperstring Theories

FINAL THEORY.

STROBOSCOPIC MOVEMENT EFFECT/ILLUSION. See APPARENT MOVEMENT, PRINCIPLES/THEORIES OF; APPENDIX A.

STRONG LAW OF EFFECT. See EFFECT, LAW OF.

STROOP EFFECT/INTERFERENCE EF-FECT/STROOP TEST. This phenomenon is named in honor of the American psychologist John Ridley Stroop (1897-1973) who designed a test in 1935 that measures an individual's degree of cognitive control. The original test consisted of a series of colored cards on which names of colors - rather than the color of the cards - was printed. The participant was asked to name the color of the card rather than to read the name written (cf., Ligon, 1932; DuBois, 1939). The degree to which individuals are subject to the interference of the printed words is the measure of cognitive control. In another version of testing materials, the Stroop effect is the process by which a printed color word (such as the word red) interferes with a person's ability to name the color of ink in which the word is printed if the ink color is not the color named by the word. Psychologists studying attention processes are interested in highly practiced cognitive and motor tasks such as reading, typing, or riding a bicycle. Learning such tasks initially requires a great deal of concentrated effort, but with practice, performance of the tasks becomes automatic [cf., Humphrey's law -named after the English psychologist George Humphrey (1889-1966) - states that once performance of a task becomes automatized, conscious thought about the task (while performing it) impairs performance (cf., centipede effect/hyper-reflection effect - refers to over-consciousness of one's own behavior to the degree that it interferes with skilled performance, social interaction, or sexual performance)]. The term automaticity refers to one or more of the following conditions: perform ance becomes increasingly effortless; performance can be carried out without any conscious attention; and other tasks can be performed at the same time without interference. The Stroop test is a good illustration of auto-maticity in reading where the person must name the ink color of a word without reading the word itself. This task satisfies two out of three criteria for automaticity - it is carried out without attention, and it appears to be effortless. However, the third criterion is violated: it does interfere with naming the ink color. The Stroop test is a reminder not to take auto-maticity for granted: tasks may seem automatic in many ways, yet they still make considerable demands on the person's attention. In the Stroop test, most people cannot completely ignore the words and simply name the colors. The tendency to think of the words and pronounce them is difficult to resist. The Stroop test indicates that even when one tries to suppress a well-practiced memory, it tends to be retrieved automatically when the appropriate stimulus occurs (cf.,proof-reader's illusion/effect - the failure of a proof-reader to notice gross errors in the meaning of the text being checked because different or incompatible levels of processing are required when checking for meaning versus orthography). Studies on the Stroop phenomenon lead to the conclusion that response competition is an important contributing factor to Stroop interference. See also ATTENTION, LAWS/ PRINCIPLES/THEORIES OF; LEVELS OF PROCESSING THEORY; SIMON EFFECT. REFERENCES

Ligon, E. M. (1932). A genetic study of color naming and word reading. American Journal of Psychology, 44, 103-122. Stroop, J. R. (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 18, 643662.

Du Bois, P. H. (1939). The sex difference on the color-naming test. American Journal of Psychology, 52, 380-382. Dyer, F. (1973). The Stroop phenomenon and its use in the study of perceptual, cognitive, and response processes. Memory and Cognition, 1, 106-120. Shiffrin, R., & Schneider, W. (1977). Controlled and automatic human infor mation processing. II. Perceptual learning, automatic attending, and a general theory. Psychological Review, 84, 127-190. Logan, G. (1980). Attention and automaticity in Stroop and priming tasks: Theory and data. Cognitive Psychology, 12, 523-553.

MacLeod, C. M. (1991). Half a century of research on the Stroop effect: An integrative review. Psychological Bulletin, 109, 163-203.

STRUCTURAL HYPOTHESIS/MODEL/ THEORY. See FREUD'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY; MIND/MENTAL STATES, THEORIES OF.

STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION THEORY. See ROLFING THEORY/THERAPY.

STRUCTURALISM/STRUCTURALIST THEORY. See WUNDT'S THEORIES/ DOCTRINES/PRINCIPLES.

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