All ages

Stop & Go

Play a racing game with a twist.

How to Use It

Run on the spot to move your character up the screen. When the prompt is red, stop! When the prompt is green, go! Can you ignore the written instruction and respond only to the colour?

What Science Tells Us

The Stroop effect is an interference effect—tasks competing for attention cause a delay in reaction time as the brain recruits additional resources to deal with the conflict.

This effect is particularly noticeable when under pressure, such as when playing a competitive game.

A few theories have been proposed for exactly how the Stroop effect works: it may be that the brain is naturally quicker at reading words than recognising colours; that recognising colours requires more focus; that reading is somewhat automatic, and therefore reduces the amount of brainpower available for colour recognition; or that for most people the pathways for reading are stronger (and therefore faster) than those for naming colours due to practise.

Finding the Science in Your World

The colour of instructions is often carefully chosen by designers to match expectations. Green ticks and red crosses are preferred over red ticks and green crosses because it is easier for people to process the message when it aligns with previous experiences.