• synonyms


[uh-soh-see-ey-shuh-niz-uh m, -shee-ey-]
  1. Psychology. any of several theories that explain complex psychological phenomena as being built up from the association of simple sensations, stimuli and responses, or other behavioral or mental elements considered as primary.
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Compare sensationism.

Origin of associationism

An Americanism dating back to 1830–40; association + -ism
Related formsas·so·ci·a·tion·ist, adjective, nounas·so·ci·a·tion·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for associationism

Historical Examples

  • This must be called their proton pseudos, if associationism pure and simple is to be accepted.

    The Place of Science in Modern Civilisation and Other Essays

    Thorstein Veblen

  • The one-sidedness of the physiological sensory theories has been the hidden reason for the one-sidedness of associationism.

British Dictionary definitions for associationism


  1. psychol a theory that all mental activity is based on connections between basic mental events, such as sensations and feelings
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012