[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.
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for associationist

Historical Examples of associationist

British Dictionary definitions for associationist


  1. psychol a theory that all mental activity is based on connections between basic mental events, such as sensations and feelings
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