free association

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free association:

see associationassociation,
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,
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; psychoanalysispsychoanalysis,
name given by Sigmund Freud to a system of interpretation and therapeutic treatment of psychological disorders. Psychoanalysis began after Freud studied (1885–86) with the French neurologist J. M.
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.

free association

[¦frē ə‚sō·sē′ā·shən]
(psychology)
Spontaneous, consciously unrestricted association of ideas or mental images.
A method used in psychoanalysis to gain an understanding of the organization of the content of the mind.
References in periodicals archive ?
I gave up trying to second-guess him and began to free-associate. The strangest thing was that the image of the man dressed in long clothes and riding a bicycle in the dark didn't make me think of West Africa, where I was used to seeing such occurrences in a rural setting.
They want to tap into "the same enigmatic mental layer related to the unconscious mind of which the modern French poets speak." So they play card games to determine sites for a series of sculptures, or free-associate words on the blackboard by the heath, or wander into the middle of Valparaiso and chant makeshift poems.
When Freud tells Oedipus, ``Your tyrant is desire'' and then wittily free-associates to make it clear that he's talking about sexual desire, the beleaguered king gets a bit testy, and they goad each other until Freud finally tells Oedipus that he is the man whose crimes and sins have brought plague down on Thebes.
What you get, in effect, is a performance, a routine of synaptic somersaults in which Dean free-associates on the themes of aliens and UFOs.