Emotional Stroop interference in trauma-exposed individuals: a contrast between two accounts.

TitleEmotional Stroop interference in trauma-exposed individuals: a contrast between two accounts.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCaparos, S, Blanchette, I
JournalConscious Cogn
Date Published2014 Aug
KeywordsCase-Control Studies, Emotions, Female, Humans, Life Change Events, Memory, Short-Term, Reaction Time, Sex Offenses, Stroop Test, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult

In the Emotional Stroop task, trauma-exposed victims are slowed when naming the colour print of trauma-related words, showing the presence of interference. This interference has been assumed to reflect emotional reactions triggered by experience-relevant emotional content which interfere with the task. However, it may equally reflect the activation of task-competing thoughts triggered by experience-relevant semantic content, thus resulting from cognitive- rather than emotion-driven processes. This study contrasted these possibilities by measuring the relationship between Emotional Stroop interference, on the one hand, and severity of sexual-abuse experience, subjective ratings of emotionality, and working-memory measures, on the other. Whereas there was no relationship between working-memory measures and interference, providing no support for the cognitive-based account, experience severity, emotionality ratings and abuse-related interference were all positively related, providing support for the emotion-based account. These findings support the idea that the Emotional Stroop task can be used as a diagnostic tool for emotion-filtering impairment.

Alternate JournalConscious Cogn
PubMed ID25058628