Stroop Dilution Depends on the Nature of the Color Carrier but Not on Its Location

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Stroop dilution is the reduction of the Stroop effect in the presence of a neutral word. It has been attributed to competition for attention between the color word and neutral word, to competition between all stimuli in the visual field, and to perceptual interference. Five experiments tested these accounts. The critical manipulation was whether the color to be named was carried by the color word or the neutral word. Neutral words diluted the Stroop effect when they were the color carrier, but not when the color word was the color carrier. We argue that Stroop dilution is due to attentional competition between the color word and neutral word, with priority given to the color carrier.

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