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Title: Control and automaticity in visual word recognition : evidence from the Stroop task
Author: Parris, B. A.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis is concerned with control over visual word recognition in the Stroop task. Besner et al. (1997) have argued that processing of the irrelevant (printed) word in the Stroop task can be endogenously controlled and claim that this is achieved by imposing a `mental set' during task performance that overrides a default mental set for reading by operating directly over visual word recognition processes. Their claim is based on a modified Stroop paradigm in which, when only one letter is coloured, the Stroop effect is reduced, and in some cases, eliminated. This is referred to as the Coloured Single Letter Effect (CSLE). An alternative view proposed by Mari-Beffa and colleagues, is that word reading in the single letter Stroop task can be automatic (Mari-Beffa, Estevez & Danziger, 2000). A series of experiments is reported using the Coloured Single Letter Stroop Task (CSLST). Experiments 1 to 3 address some criticisms levelled against the work of Besner et al. (1997) and the results show that overall their conclusions are secure. However in Experiment 4, a letter position is identified at which, when acting as the colour carrier, there is no reduction in the Stroop effect. This finding challenges Besner et al. 's view about endogenous control in the CSLST since it is not expected on their account of the CSLE. In Experiments 5-7 the position effect is explored further and found to be located near to the Optimal Viewing Position, a location formally defined as the position at which word recognition time is minimised. This position effect is then investigated by recording eye movements in Experiment 8. It is argued that the notion of an endogenous decisionmaker that influences visual word recognition in the Stroop task is not supported by the present set of results, but instead that exogenous factors are responsible
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available