Technological innovations allow for the creation of new educational materials that are in a different format to attract more users. Usually, these materials come in the form of games. Among those are metacognition activities that enhance one’s ability to think critically and apply the appropriate skills or insights to the task presented. This can be specifically applied to games that fosters a stroop effect. Stroop effect suggests that as one age, their brain’s function in relation to reaction to time becomes gradually slower when presented with conflicting information.
A stroop task is fun and nerve-racking. Developed by J. Ridley Stroop, the color test intends to trigger critical analysis when presented with a task. A color test found online from the University of Washington is a perfect example of what Stroop Effect means (Chudler, 2014). The objective is to say the color of the word, not the word itself. To understand it fully, a sample slide is presented in Picture 1. The slide shows the word “BLUE” but in a “RED” letters. The test taker should say “RED” to get a point.
Picture 1: Color Stroop Task
Two theories were presented to explain this effect. One of those theories is the Selective Attention Theory. According to this theory, there is interference because naming the color would require more attention than simply having to read the word (Goswami, 2008, p.208).
Counting is independent of the language. Young children clearly demonstrate this. This is due to its basic nature where it is easier to cram the numbers rather than understand them. The best applicable system of learning for children is by recitation of content given to them especially when counting. They tend to understand the numbers very well just by counting. Language requires that the child understands the context and what she is presented (Schneider & Artelt, 2010). This applied to counting has relatively small impact. The child is still able to understand the value of a certain number just by relating it to the other figures that sum up to it. The concept of counting is abstract to the child hence cannot be affected.
This game is called the Interactive Number Stroop Experiment. The game ask the player verbally to express the number of times the word appears in the monitor. For example, the word “dog” appeared twice, the individual will say “two.” An example is presented in the image below:
Picture 2: Interactive Number Stroop Experiment
The individual is supposed to answer “two” because the word dog was written twice. The objective was for a test taker to respond correctly as quickly as possible. From my observation, it showed that a child would not always get the instruction the first time. Usually, it takes three explanations before they can understand and get it correctly. However, after the child understood how the task is supposed to go the result are very pleasing compared to when it was taken by an adult. An adult gets the instruction the first time as a result of verbal affirmation that they have understood. Unfortunately, towards the task the adult becomes confuse and starts saying the words written the number of times it was written. As with the example, an adult would most likely answer “dog, dog” instead of saying “two.” Usually, an adult makes a mistake around the third slide.
I share your opinion when you say that at face value the stoop test appears very easy but usually, this is not the case for many adults. I did run the test myself and even ask friends and families to do the same, and the same result are usually generated. I cannot say they are dumb because majority of the people I asked to do it are professionals. Two of them are in fact, nurses. One is an engineer, and one is a college professor. I think that making a mistake with this type of test is natural, and it is not a sign of ignorance or stupidity. I think that as one matures they have a tendency to act on impulse and tends to think too much than just process what is needed. As for a child you give them a clear instruction and after a few trials they will be able to get it right.
Chudler, E. (2014, November 7). Faculty: Neuroscience for Kids. Retrieved from University of Washington Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/words.html
Goswami, U. (2008). Cognitive Development: The Learning Brain. New York: Psychology Press.
Schneider, W., & Artelt, C. (2010). Metacognition and mathematics education. ZDM Mathematics Education, 149-161.