n. 1. Some type of connection between ideas, behaviors, events, objects, or feelings on a conscious or unconscious level. Associations are generally established by experience and may be expressed spontaneously, as in free association, deliberately elicited, as in word-tests, or occur reflexively - a baby cries for food when it sees its mother. See also backward association- controlled association- forward association- remote association. 2. the degree of statistical dependence or shared variance between two or more phenomena. 3. Also refers to a group of individuals who gather occasionally for some common purpose, like a sports game.
ASSOCIATION: "An association was made in the person's brain connecting his or her dog to comfort, because the dog provided comfort each time the person became upset."