Word Associations and Sentence Completion Techniques

  • Paul G. Daston


Word associations have a long history in psychology. Both Wundt and Galton experimented with the approach (Rotter, 1951; Forer, 1960). Kraepelin and Bleuler were also interested in word associations, primarily as an improved tool for psychiatric description and classification. Jung, who worked with Bleuler at the Burgholzli, recognized it as an efficient means of investigating complexes, i.e., the combination of an idea with its strong affect (Alexander Sc Selnick, 1966). He carried out a series of investigations using word associations to confirm Freud’s theory of repression, and his lectures to American audiences on word associations were well received, perhaps because of the presence of empirical “test” orientation, characteristic of American psychology. It is not without justification that Jung’s word association method has been called the oldest of all projective techniques (Peck & McGuire, 1959).


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1968

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  • Paul G. Daston

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