An experiment was carried out to obtain data about correspondence between free associations a subject produces to a word and the role the s. ascribes to the objects and features these word associations denote in the real world.
In the beginning of the term the students of the Moscow State University (about 100 in total) were asked to write words they associated with the word "life". After two months they were given the task to write an essay to the topic "What do I think about my future life?"
In the associative experiment they produced words that belonged to the well known categories: contrast, total-part, etc.
But it is of great interest to compare words that characterize life in the associative experiment with how the ss. think about life.
Such positive qualities of life as "happy" and "long" that appear as associations in about 50% cases in associative experiment were never mentioned (i.e. somehow thought of as possibilities of personal life) in the essays. And on the contrary, there were only two ss. who associated life with difficulties in the associative experiment but all ss. wrote that they would have to overcome difficulties and hindrances in their lives.
A lot of inferences can be drawn from the cases of coincidences in both experiments. They can be analyzed from many points of view.
It is worth mentioning that psycholinguistic experiments of such kind make a tribute to social psychology.