Subliminal Stroop

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The current experiment was designed to demonstrate a hypothesized subconscious addition to current dual-route processing theories of cognition. In an attempt to do so, a new paradigm was created to elicit, and observe, the interaction between two phenomenon which in contemporary psychology, are believed to exist outside the realm of explicit consciousness. In its design is a sequential learning task, disguised as a simple color naming procedure, which was intended to elicit unconscious top-down processing (i.e. implicit learning). For half of the participants, this task included a subliminal priming technique, in which, individuals received the correct answer (via a subliminal prime) to the current trial of the color naming task just before it occurred (this was done to elicit unconscious bottom-up processing). After an initial three blocks of trials, which were intended to serve as an implicit learning phase, participants were subjected to a fourth block of trials wherein neither group received subliminal primes which served as a testing phase; and a fifth block which was random and intended to strengthen the assumption that implicit learning had taken place under the sequential pattern. Reaction times from these blocks were attained and used as the dependent measures within the current design. Results show a marginal interaction between implicit learning and subliminal priming in that the administration of subliminal primes seems to have inhibited the former. These data are the first to suggest the presence of multiple subconscious information processing routes within the human mind. Perhaps what is most interesting about the current dataset, is that the lack of evidence for implicit learning within the priming condition suggests the presumed bottom up pathway is dominate relative to the proposed top down route. These later results are consistent with current dual processing theories that involve conscious stimuli. (This experiment is still underway and approaching statistical significance)


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