About Experimental Psychology

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In the realm of experimental literature, inhibition or interference have been prioritized. Scientists in the discipline of psychology have been conducting relevant investigations since 1890, and the research has continued to this day. There have been numerous reports published in this regard, but only a few are pertinent in our circumstance.

Psychology is primarily concerned with human actions and behaviors in relation to the way individuals think, as well as the factors that influence their actions. Munsterberg conducted a study on the typical and adaptive habits of humans in their daily lives in 1892.  Some of the habits include filling a pen with ink and the daily act of opening doors including that of his room. The conclusion of the experiment was that there are some habits that one can automatically despite the presence of other contrary associations of the habits which are being conducted currently.


The Stroop effect, in this case, is an experiment which was conducted to show the interaction of an action with an interfering factor. The experiment was carried out by John Ridley in the year 1953 (Foster, 2013). The report had been previously published in 1929 in Germany. The report has become very famous such that there has not been any other report that has been popularly cited in the history of psychology. As a result of its popularity, the test was able to create an opportunity for many more researchers to conduct experiments until they came up with a test associated with the report. The test was named Stroop Test and is used by many professional psychologists and clinicians in their investigations and experiments in the health care sector.

The test involves three experiments which were conducted, and it was still named after Ridley who was the first individual to be able to publish the test in one of his articles. However, there were other psychologists who had already published similar articles, such as Eric Rudolf. The scientist was able to carry out experiments on different colors (Stroop, 2016). In some cases, for instance, the scientist proposed that it is quite difficult to name colors where colors such as red are placed under a different name such as when color blue is placed under the name ‘red’ while it is quite easy to name colors where the colors are placed under their own names such as color red placed under the name ‘red’. The three experiments carried out comprised of 3 varying stimuli which were squares of a specific color, where colors were named in black ink, and where the colors and their names differed (Ford, 2015).

The aim of this paper is to analyze the laboratory reports based on the experiments carried out by different psychologists in an effort to relate the various human habits and behaviors with the stimuli responsible for such actions as well as the interactions with the day to day interferences. This paper also focuses on the tests which were carried out by Stroop and which were later approved and published to be applied in the clinical practices in the health sector.


The first experiment was about using words that conflicted with each other to name colors. In this experiment, the participants were instructed to use the same name despite the color produced by the pen when writing. A good example is the use of the name purple for any color displayed by on the paper. The pen could be filled with black ink but the writings could still be termed as purple (Stroop, 2016).

The second experiment was different from the first experiment. This experiment entailed the participants giving the correct names to the colors displayed rather than the usual purple name in the font. For instance, the participants were advised to name the font red if the color that appears in writing is red, if the color used is black, then the participants should name it black. More so, in a case where the word pink was written in a blue color, then the participants will still have to name the displayed color as blue instead of pink (Foster, 2013).

In the third and the last experiment, the psychologist tested the capability of the participants in relation to the first and second experiments. The main aim of the experiment was to investigate the learning impacts of the participants on the stimuli. As such the psychologist noted that in the third experiment, it was quite challenging for the participants to identify the colors since they took such a long time to come to terms with the actual color presented in the squares (Ford, 2015). The psychologist thereby noted that the interferences distorted the automation of the mind in relation to matching the names of the colors with the actual colors. This means that when the individual sees a color, the mind is able to automatically read the name of the color, such a green, and interpret it to match with the actual color red. On the contrary, when the participant views the writing, the mind has to recheck whether the actual word red is written in red or it is written in any other color. This action is not automatic since the mind has to recheck the word intentionally to ensure that the word red is indeed written using a red colored ink or it is written using a green ink (Stroop, 2016).

Results and Analysis

After conducting all the experiments, the psychologist noted that the there are three main stimuli which influence the behaviors and habits of human beings. The first stimulus is the neutral stimuli. This stimulus is associated with the first experiment conducted by Stroop where only the text or the color are displayed. The second stimulus is the congruent stimulus. This stimulus is associated with the experiment whereby the word and the color used to write it is the same. For instance, the word red is written using red ink. The third stimulus is the incongruent stimulus where the word differs from the color (Ford, 2015).

There are also three different findings used in the experiments. The first one is the semantic interference where there very minimal or no interference at all with the ink used and the name of the color. As such, the process of naming the neutral stimulus is much easier since there is very minimal interference between the word and the color when compared to the incongruent experiments. Secondly, there is the semantic facilitation finding which is associated with the idea that the process of giving names to the ink used in the congruent stimuli is quite fast when compared to the instances when there is presence of neutral stimuli. The last finding is the combination of the semantic facilitation and interference in a situation where both stimuli disappear when the psychologist introduces the word reading processes rather than the process of identifying the ink (Stroop, 2016).

There have been different theories and experiments which have been carried out by different psychologists. However, these experiments have not been able to eliminate the impact of interference stimuli in the behaviors and the habits of the human beings in their everyday life. The experiments and tests conducted by Stroop have been widely practiced in the health sector whereby they have been used in activities such as those associated with measuring the processing speed of the mind of various individuals (Foster, 2013). More so, the experiments have been widely applied in determining the ability and capabilities of individuals to perform executive functions in relation to their memory and development of their minds. The Stroop test has also been widely used in the diagnosis processes and also helped in categorizing brain-related disorders. In addition, it has been used in the brain imaging processes. These are responsible for identifying the different parts of the brain which are responsible for decision-making, planning, as well as managing interferences in real life such as driving and texting (Titchener, 2012).


In a nutshell, the paper has been able to achieve its purpose of analyzing the different laboratory experiments which have been conducted by various psychologists in their effort to understand the human behaviors and habits. The main focus of this paper were the experiments carried out by Stroop. He was able to carry out successful experiments which identified three stimuli which affect the human habits and behaviors. These include the neutral, incongruent, and congruent stimuli. He was able to arrive at these stimuli through the use of colors. the three main experiments which were carried out involved the use of different colors of ink on different names, the use of color names in specific ink, and the use of specific squares for specific colors.


Ford, A. (2015). Chapter VI. Demonstration experiments in applied psychology. Group experiments in elementary psychology, 203-241. doi:10.1037/13523-006

Foster, W. S. (2013). Experiments in psychology. doi:10.1037/10966-000

Stroop, J. R. (2016). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 121(1), 15-23. doi:10.1037//0096-3445.121.1.15

Titchener, E. B. (2012). Experimental psychology: A manual of laboratory practice. Vol. 2, Quantitative experiments. New York: Macmillan Co.

April 26, 2023

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