[uh-soh-see-ey-shuh-niz-uh m, -shee-ey-]


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.

Nearby words

  1. association cortex,
  2. association fiber,
  3. association football,
  4. association law,
  5. association test,
  6. associative,
  7. associative aphasia,
  8. associative cortex,
  9. associative learning,
  10. associative neuron

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for associationist

British Dictionary definitions for associationist



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