A Comparison of Symbolic Meanings of Words for Adolescents and Adults

  • Gerard A. De Wit


The word association test as described in the preceding chapter was immediately followed by a symbolic meaning test, carried out on the same groups of adolescents and adults in the same session. The written instruction presented, in a mimeographed test booklet containing the same fifty nouns as selected for the word association test, was worded as follows:

On the next two pages a number of objects, plants, and animals are mentioned.

Will you please write down beside each of them, what it symbolically means to you.

For instance, ‘a lion’ might have a symbolic meaning for you such as ‘strength’, ‘courage’, ‘fierce’, ‘nobility’ or something else. Don’t reason about it but fill in the first symbolic meaning that comes to your mind. Also, ‘a rose’ might symbolically mean to you something such as ‘love’, ‘beauty’, ‘tenderness’, or something else. But whatever symbolic meaning each object, plant, or animal mentioned might have for you, no matter how intimate you find it, please write it down. Please read the words one by one and write down the symbolic meaning immediately after reading the word. Give only one symbolic meaning for each of the objects, plants, or animals mentioned.


Stimulus Word Adult Group Word Association Symbolic Meaning Abstract Category 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard A. De Wit
    • 1
  1. 1.Villanova UniversityVillanovaUSA

Personalised recommendations