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Psychol Sci. 2006 Feb;17(2):91-5.

Suggestion reduces the stroop effect.

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  • 1Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York State Psychiatric Institute, MRI Unit in the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York, NY 10032, USA.


We examined the effects of suggestion on Stroop interference in highly suggestible individuals. Participants completed the Stroop task with and without a suggestion to perceive Stroop words as meaningless symbols. Half the participants were given this suggestion in hypnosis, and half were given the suggestion without the induction of hypnosis. Suggestion produced a significant reduction in Stroop inhibition, accounting for about 45% of the variance in Stroop responding, regardless of whether hypnosis had been induced. These findings indicate that suggestion can at least partially overcome the automaticity associated with the Stroop effect.

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