Most of us believe we can control what pieces of information influence our decisions. But when it comes down to it, can we? The Stroop Test suggests: no. Try it for yourself.


Baumeister, R. F., & Tierney, J. (2011). Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. Penguin.

Goldin, C., & Rouse, C. (2000). Orchestrating impartiality: The impact of” blind” auditions on female musicians. American Economic Review90(4), 715-741.

Stroop, J. R. (1935). Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology18(6), 643.


Strooped! was created and developed by Mahzarin Banaji, Olivia Kang, Kirsten Morehouse, and Evan Younger. Special thanks to the Bok Center’s Learning Lab Studio at Harvard University. Support for Outsmarting Human Minds comes from PwC, Johnson & Johnson, and Harvard University.

Narration by Olivia Kang

Animation & Editing by Evan Younger

Artwork by Olivia Kang

Assistant: Theodora Mautz

Music by J.S. Bach (performed by Advent Chamber Orchestra) and Olive Musique, Ben Beiny, Immersive Music, and Allegory Musia via Premium Beat

John F. Kennedy footage by CBS via JFK Library