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association

association, in psychology, a connection between different sensations, feelings, or ideas by virtue of their previous occurrence together in experience. The concept of association entered contemporary psychology through the empiricist philosophers John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume, and David Hartley, and the British associationist school of James Mill, John Stuart Mill, and others (see associationism). Translated into the stimulus-response terms of behaviorism, association has been thought of as the basis of learning and conditioning. Paired experience and the principle of reinforcement are often invoked to explain associative learning. However, Gestalt psychologists, who believe that association between items is dependent on their relations to each other, interpret association as an aftereffect of perceptual organization. Psychoanalysis uses a technique known as free association, in which the client expresses thoughts exactly as they occur, even though they may seem irrelevant. This procedure is designed to reveal areas of conflict and to bring into consciousness traumatic events that have been repressed, the theory being that earlier thoughts and associations can be derived from current thoughts with similar patterns of association.

See N. J. Mackintosh, Conditioning and Associative Learning (1983).

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association

as·so·ci·a·tion / əˌsōsēˈāshən; -shē-/ • n. 1. (abbr.: assn.) (often in names) a group of people organized for a joint purpose: the National Association of Broadcasters. ∎  Ecol. a plant community defined by a characteristic group of dominant plant species. 2. a connection or cooperative link between people or organizations: he developed a close association with the university. ∎  the action or state of becoming a member of an organization with subordinate status. ∎  Chem. the linking of molecules through hydrogen bonding or other interaction short of full bond formation. 3. (usu. associations) a mental connection between ideas or things: the word bureaucracy has unpleasant associations. ∎  the action of making such a connection. ∎  the fact of occurring with something else; co-occurrence: cases of cancer found in association with colitis. DERIVATIVES: as·so·ci·a·tion·al / -shənl/ adj.

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association

association An ecological unit in which two or more species occur in closer proximity to one another than would be expected on the basis of chance. Early plant ecologists recognized associations of fixed composition on the basis of the dominant species present (e.g. a coniferous forest association). Associations now tend to be detected by using more objective statistical sampling methods. See also consociation.

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association

association
1. A learned connection between a type of event and a neutral stimulus with which it is paired (e.g. the sensation of hunger that may follow the chiming of a clock, denoting the time at which a meal is customarily presented). See also conditioning.

2. See plant association.

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association

association A learned connection between a type of event and a neutral stimulus with which it is paired (e.g. the sensation of hunger that may follow the chiming of a clock, denoting the time at which a meal is customarily presented). See also CONDITIONING.

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Association

Association

a group of persons to promote some idea, sport, or object. See also alliance, fellowship, league.

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association

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association

association See PLANT ASSOCIATION.

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