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1. a state in which two attributes occur together either more or less often than expected by chance.
2. in neurology, a term applied to those regions of the brain (association areas) that link the primary motor and sensory areas.
3. in genetics, the occurrence together of two or more phenotypic characteristics more often than would be expected by chance. To be distinguished from linkage (q.v.).
4. in psychiatry, a connection between ideas or feelings, especially between conscious thoughts and elements of the unconscious, or the formation of such a connection.
clang association see clanging.
free association in psychoanalysis, verbal expression by the patient of ideas as they arrive spontaneously, without censoring or withholding anything, no matter how distressing, embarrassing, trivial, or irrelevant it may seem. The analyst forms tentative explanations of the patient's associations and experiences but withholds them until they are validated by more material and until the patient is in a receptive frame of mind.
association test one based on associative reaction, usually by mentioning words to a patient and noting what other words he or she gives as the ones called to mind; see association (def. 4).
an investigative psychoanalytic technique in which the patient verbalizes, without reservation or censor, the passing contents of his or her mind; the verbalized conflicts that emerge constitute resistances that are the basis of the psychoanalyst's interpretations.
1. A spontaneous, logically unconstrained and undirected association of ideas, emotions, and feelings.
2. A psychoanalytic technique in which a patient's articulation of free associations is encouraged in order to reveal unconscious thoughts and emotions, such as traumatic experiences that have been repressed.
free associationPsychoanalysis Spontaneous, uncensored verbalization by a Pt of whatever comes to mind. See Word association test.
free as·so·ci·a·tion(frē ă-sō'sē-ā'shŭn)
An investigative psychoanalytic technique in which the patient verbalizes, without reservation or censorship, the passing contents of his or her mind; the conflicts verbalized are the basis of the psychoanalyst's interpretations.