Originally posted by HandyAndy
"Word Association Psychology"
The Word Association Game has been with us for years. It's nothing more or less than a harmless
diversion for like-minded souls with a few minutes to spare between chess moves. WAG is not boring
and repetitive -- any more than 365 sunrises every year are boring and repetitive. Mental exercise
is never a bad idea under any circumstances. Thinki
as attempts to ridicule and stymie the original WAG. Obviously, their nefarious plans backfired.
"It is believed by some that this game can reveal something of a person's subconscious mind (as it shows what things they associate together), however some are skeptical of how effective such a technique could be in psychology. However, more often than not, most of the fun of the game comes from observing the erratic links between words, where the amusement comes from wondering how someone else's mind managed to make such an association.
"Often, the game's goal is to compare the first and final word, to see if they relate, or to see how different they are, or also to see how many words are repeated. Likewise, players often review the list of words to see the pathways of associations that go from beginning to end. Certain popular psychologists like Derren Brown have shown an ability to predict people's word associations, and some suggest that humans actually find it very difficult to disassociate words
such that they become more predictable when told to do so. For instance, the aforementioned Derren Brown once predicted two words in a sequence of "disassociated" words made by a professional psychologist (after failing twice). Notably, the man disassociated the word "school" with "tie", where the actual association is quite clear.
"Word association has been used by market researchers to ensure the proper message is conveyed by names or adjectives used in promoting a company's products. For example, James Vicary, working in the |1950s,| tested the word 'lagered' for a brewing company.
While about a third of his subjects associated the word with beer, another third associated it with tiredness, dizzyness and so forth. As a result of the study, Vicary's client decided not to use the word.
"In the early years of psychology, many doctors noted that patients exhibited behavior that they were not in control of. Some part of the personality seemed to have an influence on that person's behavior that was not in his/her conscious control. This part was, by function, unconscious, and became so named the Unconscious. Carl Jung theorized that people connect ideas, feelings, experiences and information by way of associations.....that ideas and experiences are linked, or grouped, in the unconscious in such a manner as to exert influence over the individual’s behavior.
These groupings he named Complexes.
"The quest for the early analysts was how to access and free the contents of the unconscious. Early methods of this treatment included hypnosis, dream analysis, and word association. || Word association research started as a psychological science with Darwin's cousin, Sir Francis Galton,|| who thought that there might be a link between a person's I.Q. (intelligence quotient) and word associations.
A typical association is such: if I say "cat", you might say "dog". This indicates that you associate dog with cat, a common association. A common "association test" would be list of trigger words that the person being tested would respond to as quickly as possible. Often these responses were timed, and it became obvious that certain words could cause a considerable delay in the individual's response.
"Sir Francis was unable to find a direct link between intelligence and word association, however Jung became curious about the time delay that occurred in responding to certain words.
Jung theorized that the delay between stimulus and response indicated some sort of block in self-expression. One type of block might be that too many possible answers rush to the surface and create a sort-of expression log-jam, and that one is unable to answer until one sorts out all the possible answers. Another possibility is that the individual feels “uncomfortable” with the response, or that the response is “inappropriate”, thus they resist expressing the answer.
This resistance to answer is part of the phenomenon that Freud described as repression."
These Studies Definitely Support Andy's Own Conclusions. (gb)