How to offend ‘Stroop Purists’ and Luminaries

by ryan

I just checked out a book in the library called The Best American Science Writing 2006. Now I can be totally caught up with all the developments that happened in science two years ago. Woo-hoo! But funny enough in the first article called “Almost Before We Spoke, We Swore” Natalie Angier writes about the exhibit we looked at in training this morning.

“In one study, scientists started with the familiar Stroop test, in which subjects are flashed a series of words written in different colors and are asked to react by calling out the colors of the words rather than the words themselves.

The researchers then inserted a number of obscenities and vulgarities in the standard lineup. Charting participants’ immediate and delayed responses, the researchers found that, first of all, people needed significantly more time to trill out the colors of the curse words than they did for neutral terms like chair.”

What does everyone think of an explainer box with colored markers and paper so we can try this on the floor. Just kidding! But it is interesting to see some of the other things that you can do with this type of exhibit that may initially seem less open ended.

There are also tests that can be done about how many of the words that the participant can remember after the test. In this specific example people remembered the swear words and there colors but had trouble with the words next to them.