Ham and Koch (2019) found that an odorant could influence interference on a modified Stroop task. This study was conducted to examine the impact of olfactory cues on reverse Stroop interference. Across three experiments, participants completed a modified reverseStroop task in which they identified a word (strawberry, lime, lemon) in different color fonts (red, green, yellow). Although the words were fruit names instead of color names, each word had some degree of association with a particular color (e.g., lime and green). In Experiment 1, congruent and incongruent trials were presented without an odorant. No differences were found between congruent and incongruent trials (t(28) = .63, p > .05; d = .12). Experiment 2 consisted of the same task; however, an orange odorant was added to the room. RTs were faster for congruent trials than incongruent trials (t(17) = 4.15, p < .001; d = .98). Lavender odorant was used in Experiment 3 to test whether the RT differences in Experiment 2 were influenced by the presence of a related odorant or any odorant. No differences were found between conditions (t(27) = 1.89, p > .05; d = .36). The results indicate that a task-related odorant can impact word identification in a modified Stroop task.
Ham, Jonathan K. and Koch, Christopher, "The Impact of Olfactory Cues on Attention: The Case of Reverse Stroop Interference" (2019). Faculty Publications - Psychology Department. 57.
Poster presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
See the Koch Cognition Lab for related research.