Using Colors in a Novel Association
Technique to Explore the Mental
Representations of Corporate Leaders
THOMAS K RETSCHMAR AND JA NA MEINEL, MIND INSTITUTE SE
Socioanalysis 17 (12-26)
Key Words: Colors; free association; leaders; emotional meaning
Free association is the bedrock of psychoanalyt ic and socioanalytic methodology. Whereas associations
are understood in the psychoanalytic and socioanalytic literature in terms of their subject ive content
and mean ing for the subject, this article attempts to understand associat ive processes in alignment wit h
current assumptions in neuropsycholog y. In this way we hope to link the work done in these t wo elds
and to nd ways in which associative methods might be used to understand cognit ive and emotional
meanings for managers.
The explorations presented in this publ ication, offer a method to unveil unconscious connections
between color-designated mental representations of work-related terms, presented to corporate
managers. We used a directed association techique using colors to analyse the unconscious patterns
of managers. The managers paired each term with associated colours. In a series of interviews, we
discovered a similar ity in the subjective contextualizat ion of terms with the designated associative
color or color group. Graphs of the results were then presented and discussed w ith the managers and
the matching interpretations of the results were conrmed. Grouped ndings of a cluster analysis
showed further similarities between patterns of associat ive terms. This method therefore, presents
curious ndings that suggest further exploration of both single and group approaches to unveil possible
unconscious patterns of a specied target group.
The use of free association in a non-clinical context
Free association is an established approach to unveil unconscious mental representations
of objects and their relations (Freud, 1913; Kubie, 1952; Macmillan, 2001). Pioneering this
eld, the Jungian word association technique ( Jung, 1910) rst gave rise to this enormously
complex and interpretative method of analyzing the unconscious, and its genius idea has long
been standardized variously through the discoveries of proceeding analysts (Secord, 1953).
However, in a non-clinical context, the collecting of information requires different approaches.
For instance, if you want to apply the association technique to analyze unconscious contents
of corporate managers, their companies or their industries, then chances of nding a client,
who will engage on the couch for several years, are fairly low. For such demands, we feel that
association techniques can benet from complementary approaches, in order to provide new
insights in non-clinical settings.
Using Colours in a Novel Association Technique
If we picture the mental representation of an individual as a cartographic map, free
association is the method, where we start at one location on the map and explore its
surroundings, to nd out which other areas are closely located or intensively connected. By
doing this, part of the map becomes visible. From a medical perspective a necessary healing step
should include the individual’s discovery of the map by himself (Bohart, 2000). This discovery
would in turn have to be embedded in the individual’s autonomous exploration of his inner
dwellings (Ryan & Deci, 2008). This exploration happens freely and can take several years,
twisting and turning unexpectedly in its process toward a healthier development. This naturally
requires time and patience. In a business context healing cannot always be regarded as the
highest demand, regardless of its necessity. Hereby, our search is aimed at creating a method to
unveil the map and its associative areas, relevant to the expectations of the client in the given
analysis. To meet the requirements of process efciency in business, association perhaps needs
to be guided and restricted to few dimensions (Arbuthnott, Arbuthnott, & Rossiter, 2001;
Curtis, 2012; Long, 2013).
Guided and restricted association
Guided imagery is already more restrictive than free association (Suler, 1989). The change
from the instruction “Speak about whatever comes to your mind!” to “Imagine the problem as a landscape, a
creature from a fairy tale or an animal! ” gives more direction to the associations. Ideally, this should
shield out all thoughts about past and future irrelevancies, and the client will be given a chance
to explore a topic in the “here-and-now” (Schank, 1982).
For analysis in larger companies or industries, the size of the organization increases the
amount and variety of information collected from different interview partners. To avoid
this unwieldy complexity, a more optimized association technique is needed. If we restrict
association to only one dimension, the results become highly standardized and can be
processed, interpreted, and even compiled, on an organizational level (Bachrach, Galatzer-
Levy, & Skolnikoff, 1991; Cabaniss, 2008). This allows for a comparison of associations and can
provide insight into the organizational thinking of a company (Diamond, 1988). To interpret
our data, we used seriation and cluster analysis (Hahsler, Hornik, & Buchta, 2008) as shown
in the example below (Fig. 3). As it turns out, using words and associating these with colors,
proved to be a very suitable connement.
Discovery of the method and setting
The discoveries described in this article are owed to coincidence during a large explorative
research project by Thomas Kretschmar and Mind Institute SE. In this study various methods
of guided imagery were tested on corporate leaders in Berlin. The study asked whether or not
unveiling the unconscious subjective image of the company might have a masking effect on
the corporate culture. In this project, which took place 2012 and 2013, thirty-two top leaders
from Berlin (CEO or managing director) agreed to participate in visits of one-to-one one-hour
sessions, held at their workplace. Preliminary to the sessions, we announced a psychological
question and answer session (Q&A) with a lot of unusual questions, illogical or even absurd in
content, which were designed to prepare the person in question for the unexpected exercises
that followed. Although the methods were not explained beforehand, the managers were open
and curious and agreed to the experiment. The method and results were then revealed in a
presentation held at the end of the project.
In one of the warm up exercises, the consultants asked each manager to give each of the
twenty successively presented words a color that rst came to their mind. The words presented
were: customers, market, vacation, suppliers, victory, innovation, job, exhaustion,
services, energy, offense, competitor, employee, sport, products, defense,
self-fulllment, investor, work council, defeat.
A number of interviews proved this exercise to be rather informative. We discovered that
the terms that had been repeatedly paired with the same color could be grouped together.
Within each color group, our analysis suggested that there was a subjective connection between
the associated words. The subjective connections between words within a colour group were
apparently stronger and more meaningfully connected within the group, than with words from
different color groups. In many cases, the color choice reected the thoughts about the grouped
terms contextually. In other words: if the manager assigns the word exhaustion to his color
brown, we would nd out, that other terms labeled brown, would either directly or indirectly be
experienced as exhausting to the manager.
The results of the color exercises of each manager were put into graphs as shown in Figures
1 and 2 below. These graphs were presented to the managers during a second meeting and their
interpretations were discussed together with the interviewer, to see if the results threw light on
their current work situation. Altogether, nineteen managers agreed to a second meeting. When
viewing the graphs, we found several new insights. We repeatedly experienced a consensus with
the managers, about the accuracy of the interpretations.
Using Colours in a Novel Association Technique
Fig. 1: CEO of a very successful market ing agency
In gure 1, a graph of a CEO of a successful marketing agency is shown. The main goal of
this manager was to provide innovative services to his market. He was also proud of the fact,
that there was no work council in his company (which is very unusual for larger companies in
Germany). In the interview, he regarded sporting innovation by his employees as his “main
competitive advantage”. Defeat and defense were not connected to any corporate term “the company
has more customers than their services can supply”. Suppliers were exhausting “because their market
was tough” and “suppliers, which can provide good service quality in time, are not always easy to nd”. The
manager derives his energy from victory “in a pitch with other marketing agencies” and from his
vacations. The company is wealthy enough to work without external investors and has no “real
”. Therefore, these two terms stood apart from the other terms that were more relevant
to the business.
Fig. 2: Managi ng Director of a struggling facility management service
In gure 2., the graph of a managing director of a struggling facility management service
is shown. The manager connected many success factors of the industry to defeat: customers,
employees, market and the job itself. All energy was put into defenses against the “outside
world”. Offensive strategies were needed against competitors and work council, while victory
is not connected to any corporate term. The manager found self-fulllment during vacation
and innovation in her “hobbies”.
General ndings in the group
Following these thoughts, we conducted a further exploration of the mental contents of the
interviewed group. To combine our individual ndings, we used a seriation and cluster analysis
(Hahsler et al., 2008).
If two terms were labeled with the same color by more than 25% of the managers during
the exercise (meaning at least 8 out of 32 managers had paired the same term with the same
color), we would include this into our analysis. In this case, a mark is put into the matrix at every
signicantly connected term (see Fig. 3, left). In the calculations, the rows and columns of the
matrix are ordered using an algorithm that eventually arranges the corresponding marks so that
they are closest to the diagonal (see Fig. 3, right). Through this sorting a cluster of words that
appear to share a meaningful relationship, will become visible.
Using Colours in a Novel Association Technique
Fig. 3: Terms, which appeared in the same color group in more than 25% of the interviews
The results of this cluster analysis were presented and discussed with the managers in a
group meeting at the end of the project. In the following, the major results of the discussion will
be presented and discussed in broad terms.
The results show that exhaustion and defeat pair up to form a group but do not relate to
any of the other terms. This seems explanatory, if one assumes that these words are not usually
included in the business vocabulary of successful, mentally healthy managers. The term vacation
stands on its own, which aligns with the idea of vacation as a separation from the work-life.
What appeared as somewhat surprising is the isolation of the term competitor. This could
indicate that managers in Berlin are not immensely concerned with competing businesses, but
are more concerned with their own products, supplies and the demands of their customers.
Unexpectedly, the term self-fulllment does not stand in any relation to the work-related
terms. This could be a sign of some of the managers’ grim acceptance of re-prioritizing their
own self-fulllment as second to their jobs. Working experience has diminished the once
aspired idealistic ambition of self-fulllment.
In the center of the cluster analysis, we found the product of the company. This product
is associated to the terms v ictor y, at tack and energy. It seems like it is of central importance
to the managers, to provide a winning product. The term defense is placed in close relation
to suppliers and investors. Here it seems the managers relate undesired dependence to the
investors and feel as if they need to react defensively. Employees are found closely related to
workplace (which is self explanatory) but also to customers, with whom they seemingly try
to identify. An interesting nding shows a connection with workplaces and investors; Berlin
is one of the weaker economic regions, therefore workplaces are also largely dependent on the
availability of investors.
In the section of the matrix further above, there are smaller clusters, wherein the terms
sport, innovation, market and victory are grouped together. Analogous to the product
orientation, stands product innovation; both these terms would likely be described with
energetic words. In Berlin’s economy, the market is inspired by a strong entrepreneurial sector
(“Berlin is Europe’s new tech startup hub”, Smith, 2011 webpage). It can be supposed that this
drives the business culture to deliver new products in order to advance in the market.
On the far edge of the matrix, we nd the terms service and work council. Although
relevant in business, the importance of service is seemingly secondary (“Germany’s renowned
service wasteland”, Barsalou, 2013 webpage). Last and least, the work council appears to occupy
the outermost position of relevance to the manager’s thoughts.
As can be seen in this example, it was possible to derive an unconscious mind map of a
specied target group, using a specialized association technique in combination with a cluster
Our approach in the light of neuroscience and psychoanalysis
Although there is symbolism in color (Evarts, 1919), there is no necessary representation
between the abstract work-related terms and the spontaneously designated colors. Collecting the
common associations of the symbolical meaning of colors had not initially been our interest. We
merely assume that after delivering the term and activating its representation in the manager’s
cortex, the color, which is most strongly connected to the specic term, will gain prominence.
Other terms, belonging to the same subjective context group, will activate the same color. When
considering the implementations of these formations, the graphs could be viewed as the rst
attempt to produce representations of the cortical network structure of internal, work-related
representations – on a very high level of abstraction, but nonetheless connected.
In light of the following terms, it seems obligatory to distinguish internal representations
into two components with subjective and objective aspects. The subjective aspect is given by
the individual’s emotional recollection, ’the objective aspect by the neural patterns generated by
the sensory–motor interactions with the environment’ (Leuzinger-Bohleber & Pfeifer, 2006,
p.71). This suggests that mental representations are dependent on the construction of emotional
memories and at the same time it can be seen as a constructive, creative process of approaching
what actually happened (Edelman, 1989). Both subjective and objective representations are to
be considered when interpreting associations.
Therefore, memories can be described as ’the aggregate of personal experiences, events,
objects, names, actions, and knowledge of all sorts that we commonly understand as memories,
Using Colours in a Novel Association Technique
whether or not they are accessible to the consciousness’ (Lehmann & Koukkou, 2006 p. 223).
Memories are predecessors to all inner representations. Studies have shown, that recall of past
events and remembering subjective concepts (i.e. representations) both show brain activity in
similar regions (Fink et al., 1996). They are both linked to functions of the neocortex, more
precisely to the temporal lobe, which is the innermost layer of the cortex and is considered
to process and align our understanding of semantics, speech, vision, imagining and long-
term memory (Addis, Pan, Vu, Laiser, & Schacter, 2009; Addis & Schacter, 2008; Addis,
Wong, & Schacter, 2007). It is also the site of our declarative and episodic memory (Cahill,
Babinsky, Markowitsch, & McGaugh, 1995). The neocortex is at times referred to as the cortex
of association (Fuster, 1997). In that sense, it can be argued that associations consist of an
ensemble of interconnected representations, steadily forming networks through memories. In
relation, this implies that all memory is associative. According to Fuster (1995, p. 2), ”association
can be understood as an attribute of all memories, at the root of their genesis as well as
their evocation”. We assume that in the case of our example, business terms and emotional
associations become connected and form a common representation. An example from our
ndings would be the strong connection of the two words market and victory. The meaningful
connection between words has also been established in other ndings, such as in the studies
from Kutas & Federmeier (2000), where electrophysiology reveals semantic memory use in
As far as linking the two processes of memory and emotion, several studies have shown
a correlation between activity in the amygdala at encoding and later memory for emotional
stimuli (Hamann et al., 1999). The Amygdala is found in the limbic system of the brain and is
responsible for the processing of emotional reactions and the memory of emotional responses
(Cahil & McGaugh, 1998). The hippocampus, as part of the limbic system, regulates emotions
consciously and unconsciously, and is located beneath the medial temporal lobe (Ross, Haman,
& Buck, 1994). Most research examining amygdala–hippocampal interactions has focused
on how the amygdala can inuence hippocampal-dependent, episodic memory for emotional
stimuli (Phelps, 2004). Therefore it comes as no surprise there is abundant evidence available
stating that memories for emotional events have a persistence and vividness that other
memories (linked to less or no emotional associations) seem to lack (Christianson, 1992). Not
only do we have a network of semantically related terms but in addition, the emotions that these
words contain also seem to link the word groups to each other. The overall question remains,
if there are such words that are not emotionally colored. It would seem obvious to assume that
terms such as innovation, employees and market would always have an individual emotional
meaning to someone in a managing position.
In summary, an explanation for the described ndings of this study could be that
meaningful terms are represented as objects of neural patterns in the brain (LeDoux, 1995).
Knowing that neurons, which re together, wire together (Hebb, 1949), we can assume that
over time, objects belonging to a mental context are strongly linked – as studies have already
shown that memories formed in the same context become linked (Manning, Plys, Baltuch,
Litt, & Kahana, 2011). This all seems self-explanatory when considering the understanding of
existing network responses between temporal lobe and limbic activity (Hariri, Bookheimer,
& Mazziotta, 2000), yet we believe that this examination could add ideas to previous
studies showing links between neuroscientic, psychoanalytic and socioanalytic theories on
Long & Harney (2013) have described this idea extensively in their chapter in the
book Socioanalytic methods: Discovering the hidden in organizations and social systems: “Here then is
a formulation of the unconscious as a mental network of thoughts, signs and symbols or
signiers, able to give rise to many feelings, impulses and images. The network is between
people, but yet within each of them” (Long & Harney, 2013, p.30). In our results, we can see
this unconscious formation of networks within and between individuals; words such as victor y,
defeat, exhaustion, energy, self-fulllment or defense are semantically loaded, personal and
symbolical to each individual - especially to the manager in his or her societal role. One would
expect these words to activate an associative unconscious (Long & Harney, 2013), whereby
memory networks form in the unconscious, reviving emotional experiences that have similar
meanings to the manager.
In general, words and colors play a central role in the psychoanalytic process, including
their functions and their capacity to carry multiple levels of meaning and symbolic relationships
(Hall, 1951, p 46; Woltman, 1965, p. 105). First thoughts on the matter can be found in early
psychoanalytic literature, although the directions lead toward a different path. In 1900, Freud
focused on the organization of thoughts in dreams in his book on dream analysis. In dreams,
the apparent meaning of the stories becomes clear even without the effort of conscious control;
such as we nd in the waking status. The dream therefore, offers an access to these unconscious
meaningful relationships. The important factor in this realization seems not to be the state of
sleep, but the absence of control (Freud, 1900 p.598). Our interview partners were not informed
about the meaning behind our exercises. It seems that inducing a state of “non sense” will
help to discover neurological patterns. What Freud described as a phenomenon in dreams, also
appears when we ask mangers to randomly pair words with no apparent sense to the task. This
lack of sense in the association process, we assume, had prevented conscious control.
It would appear our method shares common aspects of C. G. Jung’s word association
test (Jung, 1910). In Jung’s test, the subjects pair a presented word with an associated word
Using Colours in a Novel Association Technique
as quickly as possible. To Jung, the way in which a person responded was of highest interest.
Whether or not the patient hesitated to answer or showed an increase in heart rate for instance,
would offer insights about the relationship to the specic term. The results of Jung’s test
presented themselves as uncorrelated words on paper. What really mattered to Jung, was the
clinical diagnosis obtained through this method; Jung would make interpretations about
the type of conicts based on the reaction to the words. In comparison, our color approach
reveals the emotional meaning behind the words in the semantic structure of the color groups
themselves. The color hereby acts as a “magnet” collecting words with similar meanings.
Perhaps the most well known association technique still used, is the Rorschach technique
(Rorschach, 1927): a projective personality assessment based on the participant’s reactions to
a series of ten inkblot pictures. The Rorschach technique is used to elicit information about
the structure and dynamics of an individual’s personality functioning. The test provides
information about a person’s thought processes, perceptions, motivations, and attitude toward
his or her environment, and it can detect internal and external pressures and conicts as well
as illogical or psychotic thought patterns. What appears relevant in light of our approach, is the
signicance of color addition by Rorschach to his technique (Rorschach, 1927). His idea on
colors was that they pertain to emotions that are cued differently from thoughts and actions, i.e.
the colors cue emotional reactions on an unconscious level. His color response technique has
since been fundamentally reworked, expanded and systematized (Piotrowski, 1957) and similar
techniques have been developed. Yet, what these methods have in common is the idea of free
word association, inspired by an image. In contrast, our method of association uses few words
to derive even fewer colors, giving new structure to the process. The Rorschach technique aims
at exploring and expanding the associations, with unknown results. Our technique is focused,
resulting in a structure.
Jung’s association test - and even more so Rorschach’s test - requires extensive preparation
and training, as well as reasonable experience as a psychoanalyst. It is our belief that the color
group method can be applied by anyone. Further, the automatic structure of the test offers the
possibility of a computerized assessment. This would, in return, allow for a collection of large
data and various groups with an immediate display of the results in a cluster analysis.
Discussion and Outlook
Our belief is that we have discovered a possible approach to unveil the unconscious mental
patterns of corporate leaders, both individually and group assessable. Since the maps we created
appeared explicable to all the managers interviewed, we conclude that this method has proven
itself valuable. Certainly, these ndings merely present a crack in a rock, behind which lies an
unexplored cave, yet we believe we have touched on a matter that is worth investigating. It is our
idea, that the apparent lack of sense for participants during this questioning technique is crucial
in order to access unconscious meaningful relationships. Psychoanalysis discovered this aspect
in the study of dreams, neuroscientists use the same principle in a different technique, whereby
they request the patient to “think of nothing specic” during an MRI examination.
To test our assumptions, validating research needs to be done on larger samples, different
settings and approaches in order to determine the directional link between unconscious- and
neurobiological mapping. Since the end of the project in 2013, we redeveloped the approach
into a method that has been used in client coaching. Clients, who sought advice regarding their
choice of profession have been given the task of self-assigning colors to job-specic terms
such as construction, help, teaching, and creation, as well as general terms like victory,
exhaustion, energy, offense, defense, self-fulllment, defeat. The resulting graphs were
used as a basis for discussion. Most of the clients found analyzing a structured map on their
thoughts about the topics useful. Of course we realize these graphs are merely snapshots
capturing the representations only as they are currently recalled. However, we would be
interested in conducting further long-term research on change and development. Ideally this
would require an exploration of a coaching setting with a long-term relationship to the client for
Other researchers may nd it useful to adapt the approach for the exploration of other
target groups. In clinical work, within a diagnostical framework, the approach could be
used to explore how important topics of social life are interconnected. So far, this is done
through mind mapping, whereby a hand drawn visualization of a client’s thoughts and topics
is created over the course of a conversation with the therapist. Our method differs from this
approach in two ways. Firstly, it does not result in a map that is gradually created during the
session through the hands of the client, therapist and possible further participants, but rather
collects the necessary information beforehand. Due to the condition of rapid association, the
therapist receives a less ltered recollection of contextual connections between meaningful
words from the client. Secondly, the method of collecting allows a standardized displaying of
results. Mindmaps are much harder to compare – between an individual at different points in
life; between two individuals visiting the same therapist; between different clients of different
therapists etc. In mind mapping, as well as in the other previous association methods discussed
in this paper, what is essentially missing is simply a lack of similarity and quantiable data. This
we aim to improve by standardizing our method and applying cluster analysis. We are convinced
that business psychology, as well as clinical psychology could mutually benet from future
explorations of this idea.
Acknowledgment: We thank Susan D. Long, Michael B. Buchholz and Jaan Valsiner for
their helpful suggestions to this paper.
Using Colours in a Novel Association Technique
Addis, D.R., Wong, A.T., & Schacter, D.L. (2007). Remembering the past and imagining the
future: Common and distinct neural substrates during event construction and
elaboration. Neuropsychologia, 45, 1363–1377.
Addis, D.R. & Schacter, D.L. (2008). Constructive episodic simulation: Temporal distance and
detail of past and future events modulate hippocampal engagement. Hippocampus, 18,
Addis, D.R., Pan, L., Vu, M.A., Laiser, N., & Schacter, D.L. (2009). Constructive episodic
simulation of the future and the past: Distinct subsystems of a core brain network
mediate imagining and remembering. Neuropsycholgia, 47, 2222–2238.
Arbuthnott, K. D., Arbuthnott, D. W., & Rossiter, L. (2001). Guided imagery and memory:
Implications for psychotherapists. Journal of counseling psycholog y, 48, 2, 123-132.
Bachrach, H. M., Galatzer-Levy, R., & Skolnikoff, A. (1991). On the efcacy of psychoanalysis.
Journal of American psychoanalysis, 39, 871-916.
Barsalou, M. (2013): Life in a Service Desert. Small failures can create big problems.
html, 2nd Oct. 2015, 16:47.
Bohart, A. C. (2000). The Client is the most common factor: Client’s self-healing capacities and
psychotherapy. Journal of psychotherapy integration, 10, 127-149.
Cabaniss, D. L. (2008). Becoming a school. Developing learning objectives for psychoanalytic
education. Psychoanalytical inquiry, 28, 262-277.
Cahill, L., Babinsky, R., Markowitsch, H. J., & McGaugh, J. L. (1995). The amygdala and
emotional memory. Nature, 377, 6547, 295-296.
Cahill, L. & McGaugh, J. L. (1998). Mechanisms of emotional arousal and lasting declarative
memory. Trends in neuroscience, 21, 294-299. Christianson, S.A. (1992). The handbook of
emotion and memory: research and theory. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Curtis, R. C. (2012). New experiences and meanings: A modell of change for psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalytic Psycholog y, 29, 81-98.
Edelman GM (1989). The remembered present. A biological theory of consciousness.
New York: Basic Books.
Evarts, A. B. (1919). Color Symbolism. Psychoanalytical Review, 6, 124-157.
Fink, G.R., Markowitsch, H.J., Reinkemeier, M., Bruckbauer, T., Kessler, J., & Heiss, W.D.
(1996). Cerebral representation of one’s own past: Neural networks involved in
autobiographical memory. Journal of neuroscience, 16, 13, 4275–4282.
Freud, S. (1913). Sigmund Freud: Schriften zur Behandlungstechnik. Zur Einleitung der Behandlung.
Weitere Ratschläge zur Technik der Psychoanalyse I. S. Frankfurt a. M.: Fischer.
Freud (1944). Band 15: Neue Folge der Vorlesung zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse. In Freud,
A., Bonaparte, M., Bibring, E., Hoffer, W., Kris, E. & Osakower, O. (Eds.), Gesammelte
Werke in achtzehn Bändern mit einem Nachtragsband (p.11). S. Fischer: Frankfurt a.M..
Freud (1933). New introductory lectures on psychoanalysis and other works. The standard edition
of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud, 15, 1932-1936, pp. 1-182.
Fuster, J.M. (1995). Memory in the cerebral cortex: An em- pirical approach to neural networks in the human
and nonhuman primate. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Fuster, J.M. (1997). Network memory. Trends in neuroscience, 20, 451–459.
Gabrieli, J.D.E., Fleishman, D.A., & Keane, M.M. (1995). Double dissociation between memory
systems underlying explicit and implicit memory in the human brain. Psychological
Sciences, 6, 76–82.
Gainotti, G. (2001). Components and levels of emotion disrupted in patients with unilateral
brain damage. In Gainotti, G. (Ed), Emotional behavior and its disorders, Handbook of
neuropsycholog y, 5, 2, 161–181.
Hahsler, M., Hornik, K., & Buchta, C. (2008). Getting Things in Order: An Introduction to the
R Package seriation. Journal of Statistical Software, 25, 1-34.
Hall, C. S. (1951). What people dream about. Scientic American, 184, 60-63.
Hamann, S.B., Ely, T.D., Grafton, D.T., & Kilts, C.D. (1999). Amygdala activity related to
enhanced memory for pleasant stimuli. Natural Neuroscience, 2, 289-293.
Hariri, A. R., Bookheimer, S. Y., & Mazziotta, J. C. (2000). Modulating emotional responses:
effects of a neocortical network on the limbic system. Neuroreport, 11, 1, 43-48.
Hebb, D. (1949). The organization of behavior. A neuropsychological theory. Mahwah: Erlbaum Books.
Hyvarinen, J. (1982). The parietal cortex of monkey and man. Berlin: Springer.
Jung, C. G. (1910). The Association Method. American journal of psycholog y, 21, 2, 219-269.
Kubie, L. S. (1952). Problems and techniques of psychoanalytic validation and progress. In E.
R. Hilgard, L. S. Kubie, & E. Pumpian-mindlin (Eds.), Psychoanalysis as science: The
Hixon Lectures on the scientic status of psychoanalysis (pp. 46-124). Stanford: Standford
Using Colours in a Novel Association Technique
Kutas, M. & Federmeier, K. D. (2000). Electrophysiology reveals semantic memory use in
language comprehension. Trends in cognitive sciences, 4, 12, 463-470.
LeDoux J. (1995). Emotion: Clues from the brain. Annual review of psycholog y, 46, 209–223.
Lehmann, D., Koukkou, M. (2006): The Brain’s Experience-Dependent Plasticity,
State-Dependent Recall, and Creation of Subjectivity of Mental Functions.
In: Mancia, M. (Ed): Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience. Milan: Springer. pp. 219-234.
Long, S. (2013). Socioanalytic Methods: Discovering the Hidden in Organisations and Social Systems.
London: Karnac Books.
Long, S. & Harney, M. (2013). The associative unconscious. In S. Long (Ed.), Socioanalytic
methods: Discovering the hidden in organisations and social systems (pp. 3-22).
Leuzinger-Bohleber, M., Pfeifer, R. (2006): ‚Recollecting the Past in the Present: Memory in
the Dialogue Between Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Science.’ In: Mancia, M. (Ed):
Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience. Milan: Springer. pp. 63-96.
Macmillan, M. (2001). The reliability and validity of Freud’s methods of free association
and interpretation. Psychological inquiry, 12, 3, 167-175.
Mancia, M. (2006). (Ed): Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience. Milan: Springer.
Manning, J. R., Plyn, S. M., Baltuch, G. H., Litt, B., & Kahana, M. J. (2011). Oscillatery patterns
in temporal lobe reveal context reinstatement during memory search. Proceedings in the
national academy of sciences, 8, 31, 12893-12897.
Phelps, E. A. (2004). Human emotion and memory: Interactions of the amygdala and
hippocampal complex. Current opinion in neurobiolog y, 14, 198-202.
Rorschach, H. (1927). Rorschach Test – Psychodiagnostic Plates. Cambridge: Hogrefe Publishing Corp.
Ross, E. D., Haman, R. W., & Buck, R. (1994). Differential hemispheric lateralization of primary
and social emotions. Implications for developing a comprehensive neurology for
emotions, repression, and the subconscious. Neuropsychiatry, neuropsycholog y and
behavioral neurolog y, 7, 1, 1-19.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2008). A self-determination theory approach to psychotherapy:
the motivational basis for effective change. Canadian Psychology, 49, 3, 186-193.
Schank, D. C. (1982). Dynamic memory. A theory of reminding and learning in computers and people.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Schimek, J.G. (1975). A Critical Re-Examination of Freud’s Concept of Unconscious Mental
Representation. International review of psychoanalysis, 2, 178-187.
Smith, S. (2011). In Berlin, a tech startup scene booms. http://www.zdnet.com/article/in-berlin-
a-tech-startup-scene-booms/. 2nd Oct. 2015, 17:03.
Suler, J. R. (1989). Mental imagery in psychoanalytic treatment. Psychoanalytic psycholog y, 6, 3, 343-366.
Woltmann, A.G. (1965). A Contribution to the Symbolic use of Color in Dreams. Ps ychoanal.
Review, 52A, 94-105.
Thomas Kretschmar is the managing director of Mind Inst itute SE, a Berlin based company for psychoanalytic studies
in organizations. Prior to this Thomas has been a professor for organizat ional studies at the HT W university of applied
sciences in Berli n, an entrepreneur and CEO of a listed company Hypoport AG and a member of the board of Droege
& Comp., international business consultants Dusseldorf. Thomas has stud ied business adm inistration in Goettingen
and psycholog y in Berl in. He is a certied senior coach in the two major German coaching associat ions and a member
Jana Meinel is a research assistant at Mind Institute SE, a Berlin based company for psychoanalytic studies in
organizations. She is a graduate of psychology at the International Psychoanaly tic un iversit y. Jana has a bachelor of
science in psychology and an internat ional baccalaureate.