The critical evaluation of scientific works is an integral part of the learning process due to the fact that it allows retrieving meaningful information as well as training one’s cognitive skills. Thus, the focus of this assignment is on the critical analysis of an article of a choice from the list of classic academic works in the field of psychology. For the purposes of this paper, the article by Stroop, published in 1935, was chosen for the evaluation. It should be noted that the scholarly work under consideration is from the field of experimental psychology, and for the time period in which the article was published, it was an example of outstanding research.
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Regarding the overall topic of the research, Stroop decided to dwell on the investigation of relations between interference and serial verbal reactions (643). The purpose of this essay is to critically acclaim the study, elaborating on its purpose, research hypotheses, the process of studying, and the retrieved results.
First of all, it is important to notice that Stroop provides a comprehensive observation of the previous works in the same area of concern (643). Thus, his introduction to the topic is inclusive and comprehensive enough, which exemplifies the author’s scientific credibility. The author observes the highlights of academic research focused on the investigation of the phenomenon of interference and its relation to the daily activities of people since the end of the 19th century. Due to the fact that numerous studies exist in this field, Stroop restricts his observation only to the ones that are considered to be outstanding.
For example, he mentions an article by Müller and Schumann, published in 1894, in which the authors found that more time is required for the process of relearning a set of nonsense syllables if an individual has been associating the stimulus syllables with other syllables for a certain period of time (Stroop 644). In general, Stroop acknowledges the amount of research that was made prior to his own study in order to identify that his work is based on the vast scholarly background.
Accordingly, the topic of the paper is observed in the previous paragraph. In particular, the article by Stroop aimed at investigating interference and associative inhibition on the example of color and word stimuli’s impact on the comprehension of the participants. Two primary problems could be mentioned as the foundation on which the research is built.
Firstly, it is possible to mention that Stroop was preoccupied with the issue of the comparison of two phenomena: the interference of color stimuli upon reading color names and the interference of word stimuli upon naming colors (646). The impact of conflicting stimuli on the individual’s ability to read and name colors is at the heart of the study. The second issue derives from the original assumption on which the research is built.
It is formulated in the article in the form of a question that could be paraphrased as follows: how effective will be practice in reacting to color stimuli with the conflicting word stimuli and vice versa in the relation to the reaction time in such situations? (Stroop 647). The participants of the study were 70 college undergraduates (14 males and 56 females) from George Peabody College for Teachers.
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Stroop conducted a series of experiments with the identified sample of participants. Primarily, these experiments were tests in reading and naming colors, in which the words were printed in the color that was different from the one the word actually meant. Accordingly, the results of the study, as they are reported by the author, are the following. In the task for reading 100 words, the interference of conflicting color stimuli (in other words, the participant had to read the words that were colored differently from the color they meant) increased by 5.6% (plus 2.3 seconds to the average time for reading 100 words) (Stroop 659).
However, the interfering effect of contradicting word stimuli upon the reaction time for the task of naming 100 colors (in other words, it was a task opposite to the previous one), the reading time increased by 74.3% (plus 47 seconds to the average reading time) (Stroop 659).
Thus, it is possible to state that the reported results formed a comprehensive basis for developing conclusions in accordance with the initial goals of the study. The author concluded that the presence of word stimuli caused a significant increase in the task of naming colors. Accordingly, it is possible to state that the study was completed successfully. Critically acclaiming the article under consideration, it should be noted that this is an example of thorough academic work. Stroop’s study was based on the vast scholarly background, the experimental design of the study, and profound analysis of the results.
Moreover, the study’s findings are highly applicable in the real world, as the interference between already established patterns and the newly acquired information is a part of everyday life. In conclusion, one can state that studying and critically evaluating the article by Stroop was an interesting and challenging task. Given the fact that this article was published in the first half of the 20th century, and that its results are still applicable to a real-life situation, at least to some extent, it is a certainty that the study is of immense importance.
Stroop, J. Ridley. “Studies of Interference in Serial Verbal Reactions.” Journal of Experimental Psychology, vol. 18, 1935, pp. 643-662.