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What is associative thinking

"Association" comes from the Latin association - connection, interconnection. Ancient Greek philosophers talked about the relationship of ideas in the imagination, and later, in the XVII-XIX centuries, there was a whole direction of psychological thought called "associatism" (or associative psychology), which explains the dynamics of mental processes by the principle of association. Modern psychology (for example, behaviourism) also relies heavily on associations as connections in the human mind between objects, phenomena, events, and so forth.
Scientists are still trying to feel out the mechanism of this complex analytic-synthetic activity of the cerebral cortex. Yes, it is possible to register the activity of certain cortical areas involved in the processes of remembering and thinking (they are even called associative zones and provide connections between various centres, combining the received information with already available information). But, unfortunately, thoughts cannot yet be captured in photos, and the thinking process cannot be viewed on a monitor like a movie. However, it is clear that thought is formed, among other things, using associations, and the richness of associations as nerve connections means the depth of thinking. The modern definition of "association" is a connection between mental phenomena, in which the actualization of one of them entails the appearance of the other.
There are different types of associations. By similarity - when objects have common properties. Many children's riddles are based on this - "A scrap of bread hangs over Grandma's hut" (it is a month, of course). Associations by contrast work when the properties of objects are opposite: for example, you hear "day", and your brain automatically responds - "night. Associations by proximity - objects are somehow connected in space or time: a cup often has a saucer, and lime trees bloom in June. And the last type of association - is by causality: for example, fire - burn, lightning - thunder. The last two types are often combined into one - associations of proximity.
The better you develop associative thinking, the faster you think. This is the very resourcefulness - in thinking you do not build long logical chains and operate with associations that can accommodate a lot of images and meanings. The ability to find unusual relationships between objects or concepts helps you think outside the box. In the creative process, in the research work, associative thinking allows connecting the incomparable, dividing objects into components, and identifying patterns and hidden properties of objects or phenomena.
Do it now:
Let's see how easy it is for you to make associations. Take a minute on the timer and write down 20 associations for the word "soap. They can be all kinds of words-but they will all have something to do with the word "soap.
Now time yourself for three minutes and make an associative series - a chain of words. For example, start with the word "horse. "Horse" is associated with "cart. Now find an association with the word "cart" - "hay". And now for the word "hay" ... Make a chain of 30 words. Don't think too long about the next word - this exercise requires spontaneity.