The effects of age and task context on Stroop task performance.


Journal Article

In this study, we investigated the impact of age and task context on Stroop task performance, using error scores, response latencies, and process dissociation estimates (e.g., Lindsay & Jacoby, 1994). Across three experiments, the findings showed that although older adults were able to evaluate Stroop task demands and modify their representations of task context in response to this knowledge, they were less able to maintain and update these representations on a trial-by-trial basis in tasks with high stimulus uncertainty or ambiguity. Moreover, although there was no age-related decline in the ability to modulate print color information, older adults were consistently less able to control the activation of conflicting word information. Together, these findings suggest that whereas age differences in the Stroop task may be magnified under conditions that promote transient failures to maintain task context, the primary source of these differences seems to be a more enduring decline in the efficiency of processes that are responsible for suppressing the activation of irrelevant lexical information.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mutter, SA; Naylor, JC; Patterson, ER

Published Date

  • April 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 514 - 530

PubMed ID

  • 16156186

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16156186

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-502X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3758/bf03193068


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States