Stroop and picture—word interference are two sides of the same coin

Leendert van Maanen, Hedderik van Rijn, Jelmer P. Borst
2009 Psychonomic Bulletin & Review  
Over the years, the idea that the picture-word interference (PWI) effect and the Stroop effect are two manifestations of the same process has gained wide support. For instance, MacLeod's influential review on the Stroop effect (MacLeod, 1991) also discusses PWI, and even lists the PWI task in his list of "eighteen major empirical results that must be explained by any successful account of the Stroop effect" (MacLeod, 1991, Appendix B, p. 203). Recently, Dell'Acqua, Job, Peressotti, and Pascali
more » ... 2007) have argued that the underlying processes of the PWI and Stroop effects are different, challenging the assumption of a single underlying process. In this article, we will present a computational model that, on the basis of a single process, can explain both the traditional phenomena discussed by MacLeod (1991) and the data of Dell' Acqua et al. (2007). 987 This article presents a cognitive model that reconciles a surprising observation in the picture-word interference (PWI) paradigm with the general notion that PWI is a form of Stroop interference. Dell'Acqua, Job, Peressotti, and Pascali (2007) assessed PWI using a psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm, and concluded that the locus of interference in PWI is during the perceptual encoding stage. Stroop interference, on the other hand, is generally attributed to response selection. Based on these findings it was argued that PWI is not a Stroop effect. The present article discusses an alternative interpretation of these results. We assume that both effects are caused by the same interference mechanism, but that the processing speed associated with the different stimuli (colors vs. words) accounts for the previously reported differences. We support this argument by presenting a single computational model that accounts for both PWI and Stroop phenomena in single task and PRP settings.
doi:10.3758/pbr.16.6.987 pmid:19966248 fatcat:cevlkmpg7vcrnavzxohsselu6u