Exploring relations between task conflict and informational conflict in the Stroop task

Olga Entel, Joseph Tzelgov, Yoella Bereby-Meyer, Nitzan Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we tested the proposal that the Stroop task involves two conflicts—task conflict and informational conflict. Task conflict was defined as the latency difference between color words and non-letter neutrals, and manipulated by varying the proportion of color words versus non-letter neutrals. Informational conflict was defined as the latency difference between incongruent and congruent trials and manipulated by varying the congruent-to-incongruent trial ratio. We replicated previous findings showing that increasing the ratio of incongruent-to-congruent trials reduces the latency difference between the incongruent and congruent condition (i.e., informational conflict), as does increasing the proportion of color words (i.e., task conflict). A significant under-additive interaction between the two proportion manipulations (congruent vs. incongruent and color words vs. neutrals) indicated that the effects of task conflict and informational conflict were not additive. By assessing task conflict as the contrast between color words and neutrals, we found that task conflict existed in all of our experimental conditions. Under specific conditions, when task conflict dominated behavior by explaining most of the variability between congruency conditions, we also found negative facilitation, thus demonstrating that this effect is a special case of task conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-927
Number of pages15
JournalPsychological Research
Volume79
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Control
  • Informational conflict
  • Negative facilitation
  • Stroop task
  • Task conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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