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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.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


(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 ?
(7) In the public exchange between Horace Greeley and Henry Raymond over social reform in the fall and winter of 1846-47, the more conservative Raymond accused the associationists of naivete about human selfishness: "While men [...] are governed or influenced by prejudice, passion, or self-seeking in any of its forms, they can not combine and carry forward such a community as that proposed" (New- York Courier and Enquirer, 6 January 1847.
For Fiona Price, Common Sense is at the basis of Elizabeth Hamilton's associationist theory of education, which, governed by a conservative aesthetics, nonetheless manifests a democratizing impulse in its casting of the poor not as subjects but agents, exercising, rather than simply furnishing the material for, aesthetic representation and judgment.
(72) The social democratic lawyer Lambert, also a critic of racial theory, reviewed in 1899 the most famous exposition of "associationist" imperial policy by the retired naval officer Leopold de Saussure, Psychologie de la colonisation francaise.
First, both Noyes and the Associationists could agree that practical, economic factors played an important role in the failure of Associations--though Noyes rightly insisted that this role was not ultimately determinative.
Even for relatively freethinking Associationists, the ultimate lesson to be drawn from failure was that of resurrection.
The first point of agreement between Noyes and the Associationists was that the Associations had made a lot of practical mistakes.
This apparently fatal flaw in Fourier's vision (and, as it happened, in Hopedale's constitution) eventually led many veteran Associationists to accept a more general principle that outsiders had articulated from the beginning: a community must be flexible enough to learn from its mistakes rather than assuming that any one theory can anticipate all eventualities.
When Charles Dana urged other Associationists to wait "till the vast amount of capital which, under Providence, civilization has been accumulating for this very purpose, is put at our command," he was essentially counseling endless delay ("Letter from Charles A.
This deficit view of learning, even as embodied in academic standards that are performance-based, usually embraces an associationist psychology that favors a pedagogy in which knowledge exists apart from the learner and not, as modern cognitive science would have it, in relation to the learner's current mental schemata, motivations, and life experiences.
But especially in urban schools, these recommendations have usually been ignored in favor of what Martin Haberman has called the "pedagogy of poverty," which consists primarily of control techniques that include giving directions, making assignments, and monitoring seatwork.3 Such pedagogy emerges from what Lauren Resnick and Meghan Hall refer to as the associationist instructional theory that Thorndike and other psychologists promoted early in the 20th century on the basis of laboratory research that mainly involved animal learning.4
Teaching based on associationist theory employs a form of recitation in which teachers ask narrowly focused questions designed to trigger correct responses with little extended thinking.
They will still be based on an associationist psychology that several decades of experience have proved to be of little value in improving education for urban minority students.
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