The Stroop Color-Word Effect In Bilinguals Literature Review Example

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Education, English, Color, Spain, Language, Effect, Time, Stroop Effect

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/02/11

At present time there are many experiments and investigations which try to define the Stroop effect on bilinguals. Stroop test is considered to be one of the major ways in cognitive psychology to study response interference. According to this test, the participants should quickly name colors under three conditions. Under the first condition the participants are usually asked to read a list of colors printed in blank ink. Under the second condition participants are given the list of XXXXs printed in different colors and they need to name the color of the ink. And in accordance with the third condition, participants are given a list of color words printed in ink of a different color which is incongruent. Their task is to name the color of the ink regardless of the written world. The Stroop Test or ST is now widely applied to the analysis of the effect of simultaneous possession of two languages with different lexical systems. In other words it is used in order to study Stroop effect in bilinguals.
Thus, the authors of the article “Stroop effect in Spanish-English bilinguals” claim that in the bilingual ST the Stroop effect is usually studied in two language conditions. The first condition presupposes that the language in which the words are written is the same as the one in which the answers are requested. Under the second condition the language of words and the language of requested answers differ. Therefore, considering both conditions it is possible to analyze the Stroop effect within bilinguals. Thus, the authors conducted a research the main aim of which was to analyze the performance of Spanish-English bilinguals on the ST. For their research they have chosen 122 people, among which there there were 71 Spanish-English bilinguals, 11 Spanish monolinguals and 40 English monolinguals. Then the researchers divided all the participants into two large groups: balanced bilinguals that were further divided into high proficient and low proficient and unbalanced bilinguals that were also divided into English dominant and Spanish dominant. So, these groups were compared in the three ST conditions. Thus, the test showed that “comparisons of the Spanish-English bilinguals with both monolinguals groups in the three conditions of the ST showed no significant difference except for the English color naming condition in which bilinguals’ performance was significantly slower than the English monolinguals” (Rosselli et al). Considering the test’s results the authors found out that the greater interference was observed among the words that were written in English but named in Spanish in comparison to those that were written in Spanish and named in English. It is also worth mentioning that bilinguals appeared to be slower when they received card with English letters and the reading in Spanish. And, in general, the results of the test showed that bilinguals’ performance on the ST was slower than that of monolinguals groups. For, example, it was “5% to 10% slower in bilinguals than in monolinguals in the color-word condition” (Rosselli et al). It is also important to mention that despite the fact that in comparison to monolinguals that were administered the ST only once, the bilingual participants received the test twice in both languages and in such a way had an opportunity to have some practice. Nevertheless, their reaction was still a bit lower.
Furthermore, the division of bilinguals into balanced (participants that speak both languages fluently) and unbalanced groups became a great help as well. Thus, Spanish-dominant bilinguals performed worse in all the ST conditions that were in English. And, on the contrary, English-dominant participants showed bad results in the conditions that were in Spanish. It is possible to say that this statistics shows that for unbalanced participants the language that they know best is preferred. Thus, these groups had a greater interaction in within-language condition rather than in the between-language one. It should be also noted that despite the fact that balanced and unbalanced bilinguals performed practically the same results, for balanced bilinguals the language of the test didn’t matter and didn’t bring any difference. That was the main difference that was found between balanced and unbalanced bilinguals. Therefore, considering the results of research of Stroop effect in Spanish-English bilinguals the authors came to the conclusion that it is language proficiency that may influence the ST performance. Moreover, the research’s results “support the presence of both, between- and within-language interference in Spanish-English bilinguals” (Rosselli et al).
Also, it is important to mention another research of Stroop effect in bilinguals that was held by the authors of the article “Reaction time in Stroop test in Nepalese Medical Students”. For the research the authors chose only male bilinguals who speak both Nepalese and English. Thus, a great number of Nepalese students need the knowledge of English for their future lives. English is taught as a compulsory subject at schools, it is also essential for student’s higher education. That is why many Nepalese students learn both languages and may be called bilinguals. So, the main task of conducted research was to investigate the reaction time as well as within – and between language interferences in Nepalese-English bilinguals. Therefore, the researchers have chosen 30 male students of practically the same age who studied at medical university. For these bilinguals the researchers prepared two different cards. The first card included congruent words, where the color name and the color of ink coincided (for example, red written in red ink). In contrast, the second card included incongruent words (for example, the word red written in blue ink). Thus, the researchers used classical English version of the Stroop Test. So, during the test the main task of the participants was to read the cards and to correct the error in case they made it. The procedure of the test was similar with both cards. The total time that students needed in order to read full card was taken as the reaction time. Thus, analyzing the received data, the researchers found out that the participants of the test didn’t make any errors while reading cards with congruent words. And, in contrast, “60% subjects left errors uncorrected during incongruent card reading, the time taken to read incongruent card was longer than the congruent card” (Ghimire et al). Moreover, the authors claimed that interference was greater in incongruent cards. The researchers associate this phenomenon with the fact that Nepalese students are not native English speakers. Moreover, as it was already mentioned above, interference is greater when the second language is non-dominant one. That is the main reason why Nepalese performed slower in the test. On the whole, it is possible to say that the main results of the research were the following: the test depicted high interference which resulted in delayed attention of Nepalese participants when compelling English ST. Furthermore, as it was mentioned above, the reaction time was more in the test with incongruent cards rather than with congruent ones.
Another important research that describes the Stroop color-word effect was provided by the authors of the article “Stroop Interference in Chinese and English”. Here the researchers’ main aim was to find out whether different Chinese and English orthographies may result in a different Stroop effect. For their research they chose 24 male and 11 female monolinguals and 18 male and 32 female bilinguals who were native Chinese speakers and who trained English for about twelve years. The participants were given the Victoria version of Stroop Color-Word test (VST) and its Chinese version (CST). Thus, monolinguals had to perform only the VST while bilinguals needed to complete the VST and also the CST. The data which was provided by the researchers shows that the monolingual participants needed quite less time to complete the test in comparison to bilingual participants. Moreover, they found out that test performance is not usually affected by participant’s gender as there were no significant differences in male’s and female’s results. Next, while comparing bilingual and monolingual groups it was observed that bilinguals were slower during the CST than monolinguals during the VST. But the worst performance was shown by bilinguals who completed the VST. These data made the researchers reached the conclusion that, “bilingualism may have a negative impact on speed of performance on Stroop tasks, and that bilinguals are more efficient when processing in their native language” (Lee, Chan). Finally, the researchers implemented one of the main aims of their research and concluded that both Chinese and English orthographies have practically the same Stroop effect.
The same research was held among Iranian bilingual adolescents. The analysis of it was discussed in the article “The standardization of Victoria Stroop Color-Word Test among Iranian Bilingual Adolescents”. The participants of the research were bilingual Iranians from 12 to 17 years old. Thus, the authors decided to pick teenagers of different age in order to analyze how age may influence on the results of the Stroop Test. It is also important to mention that teens with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were chosen for the investigation. During the test the participants, as usual, received cards were they have to name dots, words and colors. This research has also brought a lot of important results. Thus, the researchers learnt that adolescence with ADHD had poorer results in comparison to healthy children and their reaction was much slower as well. Considering the age of participants, the test showed that elder adolescents (16-17 years old) performed better results and spent less time during reaction tasks. Therefore, considering the fact that participants aged 16-17 years old hadn’t make many errors and had less reaction time, it is evident that “age is effective in the performance of bilingual adolescence in the Stroop Test” (Malek et al). It is possible to say that this research provided evidence that age is influential on the results of ST.


Malek, A. et al. “The standardization of Victoria Stroop Color-Word Test among Iranian Bilingual Adoloscents”
Rosselli, M. “Stroop effect in Spanish-English bilinguals”
Lee, T. “Stroop Interference in Chinese and English”
Ghimire, N. “Reaction time in Stroop test in Nepalese Medical Students”

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"The Stroop Color-Word Effect In Bilinguals Literature Review Example," Free Essay Examples -, 11-Feb-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 19-May-2024].
The Stroop Color-Word Effect In Bilinguals Literature Review Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Feb 11, 2021. Accessed May 19, 2024.

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