EMOS: Emotional Stroop Task


Test for measuring attentional bias for certain stimuli

Words with a possible emotional load and (matched) neutral words are presented in different colors, very sshort and with backward masking. The task has a neutral name for the participant: Color Test. The task for the subject is to indicate the color of the word as quickly as possible and with as few errors as possible. This can be done via various keys on the keyboard, buttons on the screen, or via the optional button box. The intention of the task is to determine the degree of Attentional Bias (AB) with regard to a specific theme or problem behavior that can be strongly applicable to the person in question. The literature, for example, shows: an AB for stimuli related to eating, figure, body shape in anorexic patients, an AB for trauma-specific stimuli in people with PTSD, an AB for smoking-related stimuli in addicted smokers, etc. (MacLeod et al, 2002).

Currently, in Minds, words for general anxiety, words related to smoking behavior, and words about study anxiety are included. These words are matched with neutral words. Themes and words can be added on request. By default, 4 colors (red, green, blue and yellow) are used, but it is possible to set the task on a combination of three of these colors.

An English language version is available.

Normative information relates to general reaction speed and percentage of errors, as well as to the AB score. These are available for the themes of Smoke Words and Study Anxiety, and come from work with students (norms for men and women separately). Norms for the Fear theme come from young people aged 12-18 years.


MacLeod, C., Rutherford, E., Campbell, L., Ebsworthy, G. & Holker, L. (2002). Selective attention and emotional vulnerability: Assessing the causal basis of their association through the experimental manipulation of attentional bias. J Abnorm Psychol111: 107–123.

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