Classical Texts in Psychology


Christopher D. Green
York University, Toronto, Ontario

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ASSOCIATION:
An Essay Analytic and Experimental

By Mary Whiton Calkins (1896)

First published in Psychological Review Monograph Supplement, 1, No. 2.

 

Image of Cover Page

Prefatory Note

PART I. THE NATURE OF ASSOCIATION.

PART II. EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF CONDITIONS OF SUGGESTIBILITY.

 

 

SUMMARY OF CONTENTS.

PART I

THE NATURE OF ASSOCIATION.

I. PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS.

a. Provisional Definition.

Association is the observable connection between succeeding objects or elements of consciousness of which the second is not an object of perception.

b. The Associationist and the Spiritualist theory of Association.

Association is neither a 'psychic force' nor an 'activity of the self.'

II. DETAILED ANALYSIS.

a. Assumed Identity of the associated objects with connected past objects of consciousness.

Association can be psychologically 'accounted for,' only in that its terms are assumed to be identical with continuous past objects of consciousness.

b. The implication of 'assumed identity.

Both the Spiritualist and the Associationist theory are more than psychological; and the latter is, besides, metaphysically invalid.

c. Discussion of 'association by similarity' and 'by contiguity

'Association by Similarity' is reducible to 'Association by Contiguity'; but both terms are misleading.

III. THE CLASSIFICATION OF CASES OF ASSOCIATION.

a. Total, partial and focalized association.

Cases of association are best distinguished according as the first term is a concrete whole; or a group of persisting elements of such a whole; or a single persisting element.

b. Simultaneous Association.

Cases of simultaneous association are those of the reflectively-observed connection of the parts of total objects of consciousness, when there has been no remembered succession.

c. So-called Voluntary Association

'Voluntary Association' is really no form of association.

IV. A MODERN FORM OF ASSOCIATION BY SIMILARITY.

a. The sequence upon a percept of images like itself is not association.

b. The Associationist argument for this so-called 'association.'

The Associationist theory of revivable images is untrue to fact and metaphysically invalid.

c. Höffding's theory of this so-called 'association' (or assimilation.')

1. The possibility of 'immediate recognition.'

Immediate recognition may occur.

2. The relation of this so-called association to immediate recognition.

Immediate recognition neither requires nor admits this so-called association as explanation.

V. THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EXPLANATION OF ASSOCIATION.

The physiological explanation of association, through habitual connection between brain-tracts and between sensory and motor activities, must not be confused with the psychological analysis.

PART II.

EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF CONDITIONS OF SUGGESTIBILITY.

INTRODUCTION.

Classification of cases of suggestiveness and of suggestibility

I. SIMPLE SERIES.

a. Visual series.

1. Successive arrangement

The 'frequent' numeral is remembered in 63.7% of the possible cases.

The 'vivid' numeral is remembered in 52.2% of the possible cases.

The 'recent' numeral is remembered in 53.7% of possible cases.

2. Simultaneous arrangement.

The results are parallel with those of the 'successive' experiments.

b. Auditory series.

The 'frequent' numeral is remembered in 80% of the cases.

The 'vivid' numeral is remembered in 56.5% of the cases.

The 'recent' numeral is remembered in 82.5% of the cases.

II. COMPARATIVE SERIES.

The 'frequent' numeral is associated more often than by

The 'vivid' by 19.7% of the cases.

The 'recent' by 7.6 of the cases.

The 'vivid' numeral is associated more often than the 'recent' by 10.5% of the cases.