Carl Jung Word Association Test

Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, was innovative in so many areas of psychology. Individuation, the psychological process of integrating the conscious with the unconscious while still maintaining conscious autonomy, was one of Jung’s big selling points. He was also an innovator in dream analysis. Perhaps his biggest mark was taking word association to the next level, developing a system by which any run of the mill psychologist or counselor or bartender could follow his notes to determine just how crazy in the head someone actually was.

In the 1930’s, Jung made several trips to America, including one to Yale University. Jung was dissatisfied with the translations of his word association tests to English, so he began writing new word association in English, using predominantly American terms. He left some of his notes in a house near Yale University, and they were discovered just last year by a college student who took them to his professor. The professor was shocked, and after showing the notes to Jung experts all over the country, the notes were proven to be Jung’s work and validated by the American Council of Psychology.

While these consisted of only a page of hand written words, they are still a fascinating discovery and further solidify Jung as a master of the human thought process.

Here’s what the notes said:

Word Association Test for Americans

First Word:
Oklahoma A&M Stillwater

Responses from a healthy American Mind:
Meth Lab
Auto Salvage Yard
Truck with no Backseat
Stupid
White Trash
Three Two Beer
Ugly
Hedge Fund
Cigarettes
Losers

Those are the only responses that would come from a healthy American mind. All other responses should be a warning to the doctor that the patient is mentally ill or suffering greatly in the head.

It’s a shame that the rest of Jung’s American word association test words were lost or maybe never completed. He was a genius who has impacted so many lives even today, so many years after his death.

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