Word association. Carl Jung used this method of testing early in his career. The test usually consisted of a hundred stimulus words that were read out one by one to a subject who was to "answer as quickly as possible with the first word that occurs to you." The reaction time, verbal response, and test behavior were recorded and analyzed. Jung noted that subjects' "unusual" responses were connected with something that had emotionally affected the subject during some time in their life. Subjects do not have conscious control over their responses, Jung said. Therefore, according to Jung, the word association test tapped conscious and unsconscious phenomena. So, . . . .
I decided to give myself a word association test. I debated on the first word to begin with. I didn't want to set myself up to get an "A", so to be fair I decided to point to a word on the computer and begin with that. Here goes . . .
punk - piercings
piercings - sword
sword - King Arthur
King Arthur - aardvaark
aardvaark - spelling
spelling - bee
bee - or not to be
or not to be - paranormal
paranormal - Izzy
I could go on and on, but I think it would be embarrassing. If my responses indicate some sort of emotional upheaval in my life, holy cow! Maybe subconsciously I have always wanted to pierce my tongue?? Or maybe I was attacked by an aardvaark in my early years. Or maybe a little paranormal bee buzzed in my ear the wrong spelling for a word during my 5th grade spelling bee??! No wonder I'm a mess!!!
Word association tests were used to diagnose "crazy" people. Okay, maybe that's the wrong word to use. These tests were used in psychological examinations. Different words, same thing. I don't know what my responses mean. Maybe nothing. Maybe that I'm weird. But if I had been given this test years ago and had the same words and responses, I might have been locked away, or pitied, or had my brain studied.
Jung gradually abandoned this method of testing. Smart guy.