Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1975,41, 599-602. Q Perceptual and Motor Skills 1975 PERSONALITY CORRELATES O F T H E STROOP COLOR A N D W O R D TEST: MORE NEGATIVE RESULTS CHARLES J. GOLDEN', ANTHONY J. MARSELLA, AND ELEN E. GOLDEN University of Hawaii, Manoa Summary.-Numerous studies have investigated personality correlates of performance on the Stroop Color and Word Test. With one exception, these studies have failed to identify any significant correlares between the two variables. The present study examined this relationship by administering the Stroop Color and Word Test, Cattell's 16 PF, and the Maudsley Personality Inventory to a sample of 210 college students. Results indicated no significant correlates existed between five different measures of Stroop Color and Word Test performance and the personality scales. It was concluded chat the Stroop Color and Word Test has little relationship to measures of personality and may best be understood in terms of specific cognitive processes. I n the course of the past two decades, a number of investigators have made a concerted effort t o identify the correlates of performance of the Stroop Color and W o r d Test (Jensen & Rohwer, 1966; Golden, Marsella, & Golden, in press). Although these efforts have yielded substantive relationships between Stroop Color and W o r d Test performance and a considerable number of neurological, psychological, and socio-cultural variables, one topic area, personality, has failed to evidence any signs of a relationship. In one of the first studies of personality correlates of the Stroop test, Callaway ( 1 9 5 9 ) reported a correlation of .43 between the Stroop test interference page score and the Maudsley Personality Inventory Extraversion scale. However, Callaway employed only 2 8 subjects in his study. I n a subsequent effort, Jensen ( 1965), using 436 subjects, found a correlation of -.I4 between the Scroop cest and the Extraversion scale and a correlation of .10 between the Stroop test and the Maudsley Personality Inventory Neuroticism scale. Studies of the same variables by Alperson (1968) and by Daniel and Skodackove ( 1 9 7 0 ) also reported no significant relationships, although the latter investigation did yield a correlation of .42 between the Stroop test and Extraversion when the former was modified by the use of an audio tape which repeated color words as the subject performed. In yet another study, Stein and Langer ( 1 9 6 6 ) discovered no relationship between the Stroop cest and personality variables measured by a series of adjective checklists. Stein and Langer ( 1 9 6 6 ) did report that the 1 0 subjects who scored lowest on the Stroop differed from national norms in that they were less effective and adaptable than normal subjects. 'Reprints of this article may be obtained from Charles J. Golden, Department of Psychology, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota 57069.
C.J. GOLDEN, ET AL.
However, considering the small sample size and the lack of correlations, it is unlikely that this demonstrates a relationship between the Stroop test and personality. Thus, with the exception of a single study involving a limited sample size, there appears to be a complete absence of any findings which show a real relationship between Stroop Color and Word Test performance and personality variables. However, the fact that previous studies have failed to yield a relationship may be due to the specific personality variables which were examined. Excluding the Stein and Langer investigation, all of the previous efforts used the Extraversion-Introversion and Neuroticism scales of the Maudsley Personality Inventory. The current study attempted to explore the question of personality correlates further by investigating the relationship between the Stroop Color and Word Test and Cattell's 16 PF questionnaire (Cattell, et al., 1970). In addition, the present study also included the Maudsley Personality Inventory to provide further validation of the previous studies. The 16 PF was selected because it is considered to measure a number of factor "pure" personality variables which have been demonstrated to be valid and useful predictors for a variety of behaviors. Ic was felt that the comprehensive coverage of personality dimensions provided by the 16 PF would offer an excellent test of any personality correlates. Should no significant correlations between the Stroop test and the 16 PF emerge, there would be a strong case for concluding that the Stroop Color and Word Test is not a measure of normal personality variables.
Subjects were 210 students enrolled in the beginning psychology course at the University of Hawaii. All subjects received "bonus points" for participation in the study. One hundred ten of the subjects were females and 100 were male. Of the total sample, 115 were Americans of Japanese ancestry and 95 were Americans of European ancestry. The average age of the sample was 20.8 yr., with a standard deviation of 1.6. The average subject was a second semester sophomore. Material
A version of the Stroop Color and Word Test designed by Golden (1975a) was used. Only three colors were used in the test (red, green and blue) as earlier research had demonstrated that three colors were as effective as four or five (Golden, 1974). Each of the three pages contained 100 items arranged in 5 columns of 20 items. Each item on the first page was either the word RED,
PERSONALITY CORRELATES OF STROOP TEST
GREEN, or BLUE. The words were printed in random order with the limitation
that within a column a word could not follow itself. On page 2, the items were all printed in either red, green, or blue ink. No color could follow itself in a column nor could it match the word of the corresponding item on the first page (e.g., if the fifth item on the first page was RED, the fifth item on the second page could not be printed in red ink). The third page consisted of the words on the first page printed in the colors on the second page. Because of the limitations laced on the first cwo pages, no word was printed in a matching color nor did any color or word follow itself within a column. Standard instructions were used. Standard booklets for the 16 PF and the Maudsley Personality Inventory were used as the personality tesc. Data Analysis To test the relationship between the Stroop Color and Word Tesc and personality variables thoroughly, five different measures of Stroop test performance were correlated with scores on the personality scales using the Pearson product-moment procedure. The five measures of Stroop test performance included: ( 1 ) the scores for the number of correct items finished on each of the three Stroop tesc pages in 45 sec., ( 2 ) the interference page score minus the color naming page score, a measure of "pure" interference suggested by Jensen (1965), and ( 3 ) a "pure" interference score derived from the interference page score minus a predicted interference page score based on the multiple regression of word naming and color naming with interference (Golden, 197513).
RESULTS The combination of five Stroop Color and Word Test scores, 16 personality variables from the 16 PF and two personality variables from the Maudsley Personality Inventory yielded 90 correlations. Of these 90 correlations, only three were significant: the color naming score correlated .20 with Factor H of the 16 PF, the derived interference score (interference minus color) correlated -.I9 with Factor N of the 16 PF, and the second derived interference score (interference minus predicted interference) correlated . l 5 with Factor H of the 16 PF. N o significant relationships were found between any of the Stroop test scores and those of the Maudsley Personality Inventory. Partial correlations indicated no differential patterns when gender or ethno-cultural affiliation were held constant. Since the number of significant correlations proved to be fewer than we would expect by chance alone, it may be concluded that there is no relationship between the Stroop Color and Word Test and personality variables as we currently measure them. This finding agrees with the previous literature on the topic.
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The current findings are especially meaningful when one considers that five different Stroop score measures were employed. The continued absence of any findings demonstrating a relationship between the Stroop test and personality variables suggests that the former is probably best understood in terms of specific cognitive processes (Golden, Marsella, & Golden, in press) which have little implication for broader personality dimensions. REFERENCES
ALPERSON, B. L. The effect of semantic relatedness and practice on the color word test. Dissertation Abstracts, 1968, 28, 3890.
CALLAWAY, E. The influence of amobarbital (amlobarbitone) and methamphetamine on
focus of attention. Journal o f Mental Science, 1959, 104, 382-392. CATELL, R. B., EBER,H. W., & TATSUOKA, M. M. Handbook for the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire ( 1 6 P F ) . Champaign: Institute for Personality & Ability Testing, 1970. DANIEL, J., & SKODACKOVE, J. Correlations among various forms of secondary load and personality. Studia Psychologia, 1970, 13, 99-102. GOLDEN, C. J. Effect of differing number of colors on the Stroop color and word rest. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 1974, 39, 550. GOLDEN, C. J. A group form of the Stroop color and word test. Journal o f Personality .4ssessment, 1975, 39, 386-388. ( a ) GOLDEN, C. J. The Stroop color and word test as a measure of creativity. Journal o f Personality Assessment, 1975, 39, in press. ( b ) GOLDEN, C. J., MARSELLA,A. J., & GOLDEN, E. E. Cognitive relationships of resistance to ~nterference. JournaL o f Consulting and Clinical Psychology, in press. JENSEN, A. R. Scoring the Stroop. Acta Psychologica, 1965, 24, 398-408. JENSEN, A. R., & ROHWER, W. D. The Strwp Color Word Test: a review. Acta Psychologica, 1966, 25, 36-93. STEIN,K., & LANGER, J. The relation of covert cognitive interference in the color phonetic symbol test to personality characteristics and adjustment. Journal o f Personaliiy, 1966, 34, 241-251.
Accepted August 8, 1975.