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01-03-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 2/2015

Psychological Research 2/2015

A Stroop effect emerges in the processing of complex Chinese characters that contain a color-related radical

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research > Uitgave 2/2015
Auteurs:
Chunming Luo, Robert W. Proctor, Xuchu Weng

Abstract

Three experiments examined whether a Stroop effect emerges in the processing of complex Chinese characters that contain a color-related radical. In Experiment 1, a Stroop effect occurred when participants responded to the black or white color of the simple characters https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1007%2Fs00426-014-0553-9/MediaObjects/426_2014_553_Figa_HTML.gif (black) and https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1007%2Fs00426-014-0553-9/MediaObjects/426_2014_553_Figb_HTML.gif (white) by making a left or right keypress. For Experiment 2, in which the stimuli were complex characters whose meanings were unrelated to color but that contained https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1007%2Fs00426-014-0553-9/MediaObjects/426_2014_553_Figc_HTML.gif or https://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1007%2Fs00426-014-0553-9/MediaObjects/426_2014_553_Figd_HTML.gif as a radical, a Stroop effect also occurred, although it was smaller than in Experiment 1. Furthermore, this Stroop effect as a function of radical meaning was shown again in Experiment 3 for low-frequency complex characters but not high-frequency ones. These results suggest that the semantic representations of the complex characters’ color-related radicals are accessed in the context of a Stroop color word task, especially for low-frequency characters. Reduction of the Stroop effect in complex characters composed of one radical with color meaning and one without is similar to dilution of the Stroop effect that occurs when a color word is accompanied by a neutral word. Possible implications of the results for accounts of Stroop dilution are discussed.

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