When associative thinking in the human memory there are a variety of images, each of which in some way is different: it is generated by the subconscious mind and experience. That is why the images entail each other, and the chain is unique for each person, even if at first there are some standard stereotypical associations.
Namely associative thinking is the basis of the creative process that occurs in the human mind. This thinking is peculiar to each, regardless of age, gender, nationality, beliefs and so on. Children have no problems using associative thinking. An example of this can easily serve as the child's ability to play with any object, giving its fictional properties. The children's imagination creates a much more interesting and unusual toys than any factory to produce them.
As the social structure, which is the human society is based on some stereotypical behaviors, while in the process of growing up one learns them. This happens starting in early childhood, but they are not limited. Through such processes of associative thinking people based not only on own experience but on what they have learned, that is, there is a common for all set of associations. It is referred to as stereotypes. Despite the widespread negative attitude to the stereotypes, without their existence it would be impossible to imagine human society.
Associative thinking is very important for the brain, because this ability is based memory and the ability to generate ideas, including, and for the formation of their own lives. Creativity is not only the creation of any work of art, successful or not, is based on the creativity of all human life. We can say that life is primary for the human creative process. Therefore, different knowledge, which can help the formation of new images and ideas, help people to arrange their lives the best way.
Feature of associative thinking that it can be continuously developed and improved, allowing you to expand your potential. Work on this is particularly important for the representatives of creative professions, but everyone else too. The development of associative thinking provide a variety of exercises. For example, the most simple is the preparation of chains of associations. You just take any word or situation, and then have time to write down what associations will emerge in my head. Another good exercise is to find the path of associations. You need to take two words and write between them the path of associations. Any exercises that you need to work with associations that help to develop this type of thinking.