Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

John R. Murray

Second Advisor

Carol Smith

Third Advisor

Renos K. Papadopoulos


This thesis reports the results of an empirical study designed to test two hypotheses from the early psychiatric work of C. G. Jung: first, the existence of a "family disposition" toward the word association test (WAT), and second, the theory that there is interference between the "thinking" and the "feeling" functions in an individual's cognitive processing. The experiment involved 52 normal subjects from 15 families, ranging in age from 12 to 65. Subjects were tested using an association instrument adapted from the WAT developed by Jung (Jung, 1973). Response commonalty was examined along several dimensions: identical verbal response, identical category response, and identical reaction type. Subjects were found to have 20% verbal commonalty and 34-38% categorical commonalty within family units. Comparison of relatives responses to those of non-related individuals using a Spearman rank order correlation test on classified responses, yielded an average correlation figure of .29 for related and .25 for unrelated pairs of individuals; this difference seemed too small to support the hypothesis, but no formal test of significance was performed. Sample size proved to small to test the significant of response pattern redundancy within families. In the second part of the experiment, 38 subjects completed he deductive logic section of the Ross Test of Higher Cognitive Processes, and their error rate was compared with their rate of predicative responses on the WAT. A Pearson Product Moment Correlation was .57, indicating a moderately strong correlation between preference for predication, a characteristic of the "feeling" function, and difficulty with deductive logic, a process of ;the "thinking" function. A theoretical chapter traces the evolution of Jung's cognitive theories from his early word association experiments (Jung, 1973) to the development of his functional system of psychological typology (June, l971). 37 tables, 12 figures.