The Eriksen Flanker Test is also known as the Eriksen Paradigm and was coined by Eriksen and Eriksen in 1974. They had subjects respond with one hand if a central target was an H or a K and with the other hand if it was an S or C. The flanking items were either from the same response set as the target (congruent, ex: H flankers with K target), from the other response set (incongruent, ex: S flankers when the target was a K), or neutral (ex: X flankers when the target was a K). Responses to targets with congruent flankers are generally faster than responses to targets with incongruent flankers. This paradigm examines to what extent irrelevant information is processed during a visual task.The flanker paradigm has been used to investigate what factors may affect selective attention and the extent to which processing of irrelevant information occurs. There are many types of the Eriksen Flanker tests – most use images, but others can use colors or letters.

The classic flanker effect using ARROWS(←→): Flankers will be arrows which are presented next to target stimuli and which have been shown to interfere with target responses. All arrows may be facing the same direction (congruent), or the center arrow may be facing the opposite direction (incongruent). The classic flanker effect shows differences in reaction times for response to both the congruent and incongruent arrows.


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