AS3 Free Association
Free association is a psychoanalytical testing technique wherein test participants are presented with a stimulus word (i.e a "cue") and asked to respond with the first word that comes to mind (i.e. a "target"). For instance, a participant might be presented with the cue word CHEESE and immediately respond with the target word CHEDDAR.
This library provides an easy way (in ActionScript) to access and explore the free association data found in the University of South Florida Free Association Norms database. This database comprises the largest collection of free association data ever collected in the United States -- over three-quarters of a million responses to 5,019 stimulus words.
Free association databases such as this may prove to be interesting resources worth exploring not only for psychologists, but also for linguists and artificial intelligence researchers. For instance, the AS3 Free Association library allows users to quickly find semantic connective paths between words and concepts. An example query might involve finding the shortest cue to target semantic path between such disparate concepts as "MUSIC" and "DOG" (MUSIC -> PRETTY -> HOT -> DOG).
Other cue to target semantic paths (examples chosen at random) include:
RAINBOW -> BEAUTIFUL -> WOMAN -> MOTHER
UNICORN -> WHITE -> BLACK -> DEATH
Reversed (target to cue) and bidirectional paths can also be searched. For instance, the bidirectional path between "2 LIVE CREW" and "GOLD" is:
2 LIVE CREW - CREW - SPORT - TROPHY - GOLD
ASDoc documentation forthcoming. Check the unit tests for usage examples until then.
(The MIT License)
Copyright (c) 2011 Sean Voisen
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