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Wieske van Zoest, Daniel Saunders, David Melcher; Stroop together: No evidence for shared representations of response-set in conflict resolution. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):1028. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/16.12.1028.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Mechanisms underlying the ability to perform joint actions can lead to shared task representations between people working in a shared space, even when the tasks are independent. The present study investigated whether shared representations influence the inhibition of irrelevant information and modulate conflict resolution in the color-word Stroop task. If so, we expect greater interference from an incongruent word that is part of the partner's response-set relative to an incongruent neutral word, comparable to the effect of one's own response-set. The task was performed together with another participant (Experiment 1) or alone (Experiment 2 and 3). Participants were instructed to respond to two colors (e.g., response-set red and green). Two other colors were presented (e.g., yellow and blue) and in Experiment 1 these were assigned to the partner. This combination of events created two critical incongruent conditions where the incongruent word was part of 1) one's own response-set (e.g. 'red' in green pixels) or 2) the partner's response-set (e.g., 'yellow' in green pixels). There was a third incongruent neutral condition (e.g. 'pink' in green pixels) and a congruent condition ('green' in green pixels). The results of Experiment 1 showed an interference effect for both one's own and the partner's colors compared to the neutral incongruent condition. However, these interference effects were also identical when the other set of colors were assigned to "the computer" in Experiment 2 or left unassigned in Experiment 3. These non-social control experiments suggest that mere exposure to the other two colors evoked increased inhibition, even when the colors were not responded to in any way. This work provides an example of potential confounds when studying social influences, and also underscores a role for an automatic influence of distractors in the modulation of conflict resolution in Stroop tasks.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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