The ‘Stoop Effect’ as Applied to Trombonists [new study]

A new variant of the psychologists’ stock-in-trade ‘Stroop test’ has been discovered – applicable only to trombonists.


The ‘Stroop Effect’ (a cognitive interference where a delay in the reaction time of a task occurs due to a mismatch in stimuli) is named after John Ridley Stroop who wrote the first academic paper (in English*) about it in 1935. Since then, a plethora of experiments have confirmed the effect in various ways. Now, in 2020, a new variant has been discovered and described.: Named as ‘The Trombone Congruency Effect.’. It was revealed in a set of experiments performed at the University of Connecticut, US, which compared musically related response times of trombonists and non-trombonists (along with non-musicians as a control).

See: ‘Movement is part of the meaning of music notation: A musical Stroop effect for trombonists’, Topher Logan, Roger Chaffin, Psychology of Music, Feb. 2020

* Note : It had been described (in German) some six years earlier : Jaensch, E.R (1929). Grundformen menschlichen Seins. Berlin: Otto Elsner und Mitarbeiter.

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