Expanding your powers of association

The next step is to extend the original 'happiness' exercise, following the guidelines already laid down.

In exactly the same way that your ten original words radiated from the central concept of 'happiness', each of these ten words can also radiate its own associations.

By 'free-associating' on each of the ten words, connecting the concepts that Spring from them with lines and clearly printing single key words on lines which ire the same length as the words, you can begin to build a verbal Mind Map •tree' of associations like the one on page 80.

opposite: Natural Architecture Plate 10

When you look at the illustration you will notice that the original ten words have been written in larger letters, and that the lines on which they rest are thicker than the secondary ones. This serves to emphasise their significance as the ten key concepts which originally sprang to mind.

As you make connections between words in your Mini-Mind Map you will be increasing the sophistication and power of your memory, fin 1985 Anderson and Parlmutter carried out an interesting experiment on memory. They presented the subjects with key central words and asked them to generate associations beginning with a given letter.

For example, one group was given the key word and letter sequence 'dog -c, bone - m\ A second group was given the sequence 'gambler - c, bone - m'. The subjects were then tested on the speed with which they generated the word 'meat'. The people in the first group were faster" because the preceding word 'dog' activated the memory link of 'dog - bone - meat'. As a result of their observations, Anderson and Parlmutter suggest that:

'Memory works by an activation process, which spreads from word to associated word via these links?

Associated Mind Mapping
The extended original Happiness' exercise, leading to basic verbal Mind Mapping.


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