The Types of Associations

Word associations represent just one type of associations which human and his consciousness operate with. There are also visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory and olfactory associations. Each of these types of associations is tied with specific sensory organ. Moreover, all these types of associations are interconnected.


Word associations may arise in response to stimulation of any of these senses. For example, a person sees an object and associates the word with it - the name of the object, as well as the accompanying words - the characteristics of the object. Imagine that you are in the city, and you have to cross the road. You observe the road equipment made in the form of box with three different sections; one is lighting with either of red, yellow or green. You merely see - this is the traffic lights. You do not even think about why it is so. The visual image of a vertical box, which has three sections, mounted on a column near the pedestrian crossing, causes word associations - "traffic lights" and related characteristics - "green light". Conversely, when a person reads a book and sees printed word " traffic lights", visual association starts to work – a man imagine a spatial image of the traffic light, "sees" its color signals.


Now we will give an example of associations based on sound perception. For example, when a man hears the word watermelon, he imagines its visual image: he sees red juicy pulp, tiny black seeds and green rind. Someone will feel his taste. The sound stimulus - pronunciation of word, corresponding to several sounds "w" "a" "t" "e" "r" "m" "e" "l" "o" "n" suggest word association "watermelon". Word Association immediately raised a number of visual and gustatory associations, and these in turn - again word associations. Feeling the smell of something tasty, for example of apple pie, you will be immediately awakened with word associations like: "pie" "apple," "delicious," "home". Moreover, certain words often cause back reaction by the sensory organs. For example, trembling may occur in response to pronounced word, or simply in response to an unpleasant thought.

You can smell the grass of the field, just by looking at the colorful picture of the green meadow. You can smile, remembering an entertaining event from your childhood. You can hear the sweet voice of a darling, just thinking about him.

The most pleasant and remarkable thing is that people may not know anything about the mechanism of associations, and thus be well erudite, literate and developed personality. The mechanism of associations is not created by human beings; it is the invention of nature. The importance of associations in human thinking can not be overestimated.