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NRP Emotional Stroop

NRP Emotional Stroop
This instrument uses 40 images from the Not Real People (NRP) stimulus set.  The images are of males and females of various ages in swimsuits.

The test is based on the Stroop task (Stroop, 1935), a demonstration of the reaction time of a task.  In the original Stroop task the name of a colour (“blue,” “green,” or “red”) is printed in a colour not denoted by the name (e.g. “red” printed in blue ink).  The rationale of the test is that naming the colour of the word will take longer than when the colour of the ink matches the name of the colour.  Stroop’s original paper is one of the most cited in experimental psychology.  The classical Stroop Effect has been replicated more than 700 times.

The Emotional Stroop is an information-processing approach to assessing emotions.  Typically, the Emotional Stroop works by examining the response time of the subject to name the colours of negative emotional words.  For example, depressed clients may be slower to name the colour of depressing words (“hopeless”) rather than non-depressing ones (“sunshine”).  Non-clinical subjects have been shown to name the colour of of an emotional word (“mutilate”) more slowly than naming the colour of a neutral word (“clock”).

The NRP Emotional Stroop is a sexual interest assessment procedure.  In this adaptation of the Stroop task coloured images of males and females replace words.  Forty images are presented in four colours: red, green, blue, and yellow for a total of 160 presentations.  The client is required to name the colour of the image presented.  The rationale of the test is that the client will show slower reaction times to sexually preferred images.

This test is not to be used in isolation nor should it be considered a diagnostic instrument.  It is a test of possible sexual interest, nothing more.

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D. Richard Laws, Ph.D.
drlaws@pacific-assmt.com

David V. Glasgow, M. Clin. Psych.
Head, Product Development
dvglasgow@pacific-assmt.com

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