Exploring the intensity paradox in emotional Stroop interference
Jones GV., Stacey H., Martin M.
It has been shown that color-naming in the emotional Stroop task may be influenced by a person's emotional state. In particular, higher levels of anxiety are associated with significant interference in color-naming. Some recent studies have reported, however, that under more intense conditions the interference effect is suppressed. This is referred to here as the intensity paradox in emotional Stroop interference. One area in which this phenomenon may arise is that of dental anxiety. Accordingly, in this study a dental Stroop task was administered to patients in a dental practice immediately before seeing the dentist for either examination or treatment. It was found, however, that even in these intense conditions a significant emotional Stroop effect was observed, and the implications of these results are considered.