The standard deviation was the largest in the incongruous category suggesting a wide range of response times across the board of participants. These results go hand in hand with Stroop and Meyer and Schvaneveldt’s experiments. Thus the effect has indeed proven to be robust enough to be obtained within an undergraduate laboratory environment. The data suggests that the brain is quicker at responding to semantic words and colours than congruous ones, thus supporting the previous findings of Meyer and Schvaneveldt in his experiments regarding the significance of the context of words.
However, the semantic trials, on average, accounted for the most errors. These may have been caused due to a number of factors: The twenty fellow psychology students in the computer lab may have led to considerable distraction. Furthermore, a frequent source of error was when participants accidentally typed the wrong letter when recording the colours on the keyboard against the time. Using a smaller keyboard, ideally with larger, distinct buttons may have rectified this problem. Finally this experiment may have been improved by increasing the time between trials as participants claimed to lose concentration towards the end of the experiment.
The computer program ‘Superlab 4’ allowed the reaction time measurements to be accurate to the millisecond, which improved the quality of the results. Furthermore the randomization was completely unbiased further helping the accuracy of our results through counterbalancing. Further variations of this experiment could of course be conducted such as segregating the results obtained by males and females, left and right handed people or perhaps people with synesthesia. Bergfield Mills, Carol. 1999. 4 Finally, changing the viewing position to the screen during the test could also potentially yield interesting results.