If you’re like most people, your first inclination was to read the words, “red, yellow, green…,” rather than the colors they’re printed in, “blue, green, red…”
You’ve just experienced interference.
When you look at one of the words, you see both its color and its meaning. If those two pieces of evidence are in conflict, you have to make a choice. Because experience has taught you that word meaning is more important than ink color, interference occurs when you try to pay attention only to the ink color.
The interference effect suggests you’re not always in complete control of where you place your focus.
This demonstration is called the Stroop Effect. The Stroop Effect is the work of James R. Stroop, Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1935, and is part of the American Psychological Association’s museum exhibition, Psychology: Understanding Ourselves, Understanding Each Other.
I enjoyed, as an exhibit facilitator, explaining this exhibit at the Louisville Science Center back in 1995. My practicum was for BA in psychology.
Now let’s learn how to gain clarity instantly
If you are unaware of interference and the effect - not in control of what you're paying attention to - you may be subject to uncertainty.
We’ll exam this more carefully by looking at my experience.
Even though I was performing well in school and absorbing tons of new information, a sense of uncertainty plagued me. Kind of like what many people are feeling today with so many upheavals in all areas of life. Is the economy red or green, is the weather yellow or blue and are we headed for disaster or revival?
Here’s how I found clarity…
A simple but profound moment occurred when I walked away from one of my classes. Out of nowhere I stumbled and fell to the ground! I sat on the field with bruised knee and pride and instantly had an incredible insight - I had given University studies authority over my life experiences. Theory and practice often conflict but knowing this makes all the difference in the world.
Understanding interference helps you learn how to gain clarity instantly through your insights. The poem below is my feelings about defeating uncertainty.
As you walk in fear of falling
You begin to stumble along.
To hesitate while in fear
Know not where you stand.
Thus creating doubt
in heart and hand.
Once the path is clear
standing tall and proud
To the world aloud.
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