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Mind

The Small World of Words

Neuroskeptic iconNeuroskepticBy NeuroskepticNovember 25, 2012 9:13 PM

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I've been asked to encourage people to take part in an online psychology study called The Small World of Words

I get a lot of this, and I usually don't respond to such requests, but this one looks pretty interesting.

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The project aims to collect the world's biggest word association database. You see a series of words and you just have to type in the first three words that pop into your head.

Here's some more about it:

It's the sheer scale of this that makes it cool. They've got some 60,000 participants, and over a million associations already, but they're aiming for almost 300,000 people - which would make it not just the biggest word association study ever, but the biggest psychology study of all time, as far as I know.

On average, an adult knows about 40,000 words. Researchers in psychology and linguistics are interested in how these words are represented mentally. In this large-scale study we aim to build a network that captures this knowledge by playing the game of word associations. You can help us with this project by participating in this short and fun study.

The study consists of giving the first three words that come to mind for a list of 14 items. All ages and nationalities are welcome, but please note that we do require all participants to be fluent English speakers.

It only takes about 2 minutes to complete and it's actually quite revealing. Out of 14 words I managed to associate a full 3 of them with 'pain', which disturbed me somewhat.

Sotake a look and spread the word (associations)...

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