Depth of processing in the stroop task: Evidence from a novel forced-reading condition

Ami Eidels*, Kathryn Ryan, Paul Williams, Daniel Algom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The presence of the Stroop effect betrays the fact that the carrier words were read in the face of instructions to ignore them and to respond to the target ink colors. In this study, we probed the nature of this involuntary reading by comparing color performance with that in a new forced-reading Stroop task in which responding is strictly contingent on reading each and every word. We found larger Stroop effects in the forced-reading task than in the classic Stroop task and concluded that words are processed to a shallower level in the Stroop task than they are in routine voluntary reading. The results show that the two modes of word processing differ in systematic ways and are conductive to qualitatively different representations. These results can pose a challenge to the strongly automatic view of word reading in the Stroop task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-393
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014


  • Depth of processing
  • Forced reading
  • Selective attention
  • Stroop effect


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