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grees in ideas; for one sensation is more vivid than another sensation, one idea more vivid than another idea; so there are degrees in association. V One association, we say, is stronger than another: First, when it is more permanent than another: Secondly, when it is performed with more cer- // tainty: Thirdly, when it is performed with more facility.

It is well known, that some associations are very transient, others very permanent. The case which we formerly mentioned, that of repeating words committed to memory, affords an apt illustration. In some cases, we can perform the repetition, when a few hours, or a few days have elapsed; but not after a longer period. In others, we can perform it after the lapse of many years. There are few children in whose minds some association has not been formed between darkness and ghosts. In some this association is soon dissolved; in some it continues for life.

In some cases the association takes place with less, in some with greater certainty. Thus, in repeating words, I am not sure that I shall not commit mistakes, if they are imperfectly got; and I may at one trial repeat them right, at another wrong: I am sure of always repeating those correctly, which I have got perfectly. Thus, in my native language, the association between the name and the thing is certain; in a language with which I am imperfectly acquainted, not cer

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tain. In expressing myself in my own language, the idea of the thing suggests the idea of the name with certainty. In speaking a language/ with which I am imperfectly acquainted, the idea of the thing does not with certainty suggest the idea of the name; at one time it may, at another


That ideas are associated in some cases with more, in some with less facility, is strikingly illustrated by the same instance, of a language with which we are well, and a language with which we are imperfectly, acquainted. In speaking our own language, we are not conscious of any effort; the associations between the words and the ideas appear spontaneous. In endeavouring to speak a language with which we are imperfectly acquainted, we are sensible of a painful effort: the associations between the words and ideas being not ready, or immediate.

7. The causes of strength in association seem all to be resolvable into two; the vividness of the associated feelings; and the frequency of the association.

In general, we convey not a very precise meaning, when we speak of the vividness of sensations and ideas. We may be understood when we say that, generally speaking, the sensation is more vivid than the idea; or the primary, than the secondary feeling; though in dreams, and in delirium, ideas are mistaken for sensations. But when

we say that one sensation is more vivid than another, there is much more uncertainty. We can distinguish those sensations which are pleasurable, and those which are painful, from such as are not so; and when we call the pleasurable and painful more vivid, than those which are not so, we speak intelligibly. We can also distinguish degrees of pleasure, and of pain; and when we call the sensation of the higher degree more vivid than the sensation of the lower degree, we may again be considered as expressing a meaning tolerably precise.

In calling one IDEA more vivid than another, if we confine the appellation to the ideas of such SENSATIONS as may with precision be called more or less vivid; the sensations of pleasure and pain, in their various degrees, compared with sensations which we do not call either pleasurable or painful; our language will still have a certain degree of precision. But what is the meaning which I annex to my words, when I say, that my idea of the taste of the pine-apple which I tasted yesterday. is vivid; my idea of the taste of the foreign fruit which I never tasted but once in early life, is not vivid? If I mean that I can more certainly distinguish the more recent, than the more distant sensation, there is still some precision in my language; because it seems true of all my senses, that if I compare a distant sensation with a present, I am less sure of its being or not being a repetition of the same, than if I compare a re

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cent sensation with a present one. Thus, if I yesterday had a smell of a very peculiar kind, and compare it with a present smell, I can judge more accurately of the agreement or disagreement of the two sensations, than if I compared the present with one much more remote. The same is the case with colours, with sounds, with feelings of touch, and of resistance. It is therefore sufficiently certain, that the idea of the more recent sensation affords the means of a more accurate comparison, generally, than the idea of the more remote sensation. And thus we have three cases of vividness, of which we can speak with some precision: the case of sensations, as compared with ideas; the case of pleasurable and painful sensations, and their ideas, as compared with those which are not pleasurable or painful; and the case of the more recent, compared with the more remote.

That the association of two ideas, but for once, does, in some cases, give them a very strong connection, is within the sphere of every man's experience. The most remarkable cases are probably those of pain and pleasure. Some persons who have experienced a very painful surgical operation, can never afterwards bear the sight of the operator, however strong the gratitude which they may actually feel towards him. The meaning is, that the sight of the operator, by a strong association, calls up so vividly the idea of the pain of the

operation, that it is itself a pain. The spot on which a tender maiden parted with her lover, when he embarked on the voyage from which he never returned, cannot afterwards be seen by her without an agony of grief.

These cases, also, furnish an apt illustration of the superiority which the sensation possesses over the idea, as an associating cause. Though the sight of the surgeon, the sight of the place, would awaken the ideas which we have described, the mere thought of them might be attended with no peculiar effect. Those persons who have the association of frightful objects with darkness, and who are transported with terrors when placed in the dark, can still think of darkness without any emotion.

The same cases furnish an illustration of the effect of recency on the strength of association. The sight, of the affecting spot by the maiden, of the surgeon by the patient, would certainly produce a more intense emotion, after a short, than after a long interval. With most persons, time would weaken, and at last dissolve, the association.

So much with regard to vividness, as a cause of strong associations. Next, we have to consider frequency or repetition; which is the most remarkable and important cause of the strength of our associations.

Of any two sensations, frequently perceived together, the ideas are associated. Thus, at least,

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