The Stroop Effect

Don't read the words below.
Just say the colour of each word in the list below as fast as you can, out loud.

GREEN
RED
YELLOW
BLUE
RED
GREEN
YELLOW
BLUE
GREEN
BLUE
YELLOW
RED

 

Are you babbling yet??

I found this on the Ontario Science Centre website. It blew me away. Here's how they explain it.

Even though you're only concerned with naming a word's colour, it seems impossible to ignore the word's meaning. You may see red ink - but if the word says "green", you feel strangely tongue-tied.

How come?

You've just experienced interference.

When you look at one of the words, you see both its colour and its meaning. If those two pieces of evidence are in conflict, you have to make a choice. Interference is the result of having to choose against a stronger type of evidence. In this case, you have to choose against word meaning, which experience has taught you is usually more important than ink colour. 
 

The Color Test (fancy version of the Stroop Effect - requires Macromedia Flash plug-in)

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