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In psychology, the theory that human understanding of the world occurs through ideas associated with sensory experience rather than through innate ideas.
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(ə-sō′sē-ā′shə-nĭz′əm, ə-sō′shē-)
The psychological theory that association is the basic principle of all mental activity.

as·so′ci·a′tion·ist adj. & n.
as·so′ci·a′tion·is′tic adj.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Though perhaps strongly felt, this evaluation, because it is rooted in the arational experiential system of knowing (i.e., holistic, associationistic, crudely differentiated, self evidently valid, etc.) may not be easily articulated.
An inability to do so suggests instead that people are actually sensitive to the covariation or simple associationistic information produced by stationarity differences rather than actual conditional probability differences.
The experiential system, on the other hand, is assumed to be automatic, preconscious, associationistic, primarily nonverbal, and very closely associated with affect.
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