Psychological distress and responses to blocked and random presentation of emotional Stroop stimuli : an online experiment

Nicolas Kambouropoulos, Simon Knowles

Abstract


There is an extensive amount of literature utilising the emotional Stroop task (EST) to investigate attentional processes underlying a range of psychological conditions. Relatively fewer studies have specifically examined the impact of different Stroop stimuli presentation methods (i.e., blocked or mixed presentation of words). The aim of this study was to directly investigate this issue using an online version of the task. After an initial practice trial, 117 Psychology students (19 Male, 98 Female) were randomly allocated to either a random or counterbalanced blocked condition. Demographic information and level of psychological distress (K10) were also collected. Results indicated that there were no significant differences between blocked and random conditions on attentional interference. Further analysis indicated that random presentation produced significantly higher levels of response latencies to emotional words in participants with high levels of psychological distress. These data add to the methodological debate surrounding the use of blocked vs. random presentation of Stroop stimuli. Implications of these results for assessing control and clinical groups using the EST are discussed.

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Keywords

Emotional Stroop; Psychological distress



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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology