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A development of the Stroop task was used to investigate whether differences among individuals in their levels of stress are associated with differences in cognitive processing. Stress levels of a group of 40 industrial managers were assessed by means of the Stress Arousal Checklist. These individuals also performed a modified Stroop task in which they named the ink-colour of written letter-strings. The stimuli in one of the conditions consisted of stress-related, negative words such as 'overload'. It was found that high-stress individuals, unlike low-stress ones, were significantly impaired in their naming latencies for negative words relative to neutral words. This finding suggests that level of stress should be included among the factors which may be held responsible for differences among individuals in their patterns of cognitive performance. © 1995.

Original publication




Journal article


Personality and Individual Differences

Publication Date





385 - 387