Associative Networks


Associative networks are cognitive models that incorporate long-known principles of association to represent key features of human memory. When two things (e.g., “bacon” and “eggs”) are thought about simultaneously, they may become linked in memory. Subsequently, when one thinks about bacon, eggs are likely to come to mind as well. Over 2,000 years ago, Aristotle described some of the principles governing the role of such associations in memory. Similar principles were elaborated by British philosophers in the 1700s, and contributed to a variety of psychological theories, including those developed by contemporary cognitive psychologists to model memory.

Basic Models

In associative network models, memory is construed as a metaphorical network of cognitive concepts (e.g., objects, events and ideas) interconnected by links (or pathways) reflecting the strength of association ...

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