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Colors, Colors?

Source Institutions

    University of Washington

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Colors, Colors?

In this activity related to the famous "Stroop Effect," learners explore how words influence what we see and how the brain handles "mixed messages." Learners read colored words and are asked to say the color of the word, not what the word says. Learners use a data table to keep track of where they have trouble reading the colors. They analyze this data by answering questions and drawing conclusions. Learners can also take this test using the online version.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Songstad, Susan


  • All Rights Reserved, Eric H. Chudler, ©2009


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