The One Word Game A Psychological Device Or Just A Fun Pastime

22 Oct 2021
7 min read

Post Highlight

We've all seen Abhay Deol in the 2011 movie "Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara," in which he uses the one-word approach to try to figure out what's going on with his friends. He actually says something, and the other guys quickly  respond to him with one word. These impulsive and unprepared responses ultimately exposed the individual's psyche's flaws and disclosed the things that were bothering him. #ThinkWithNiche


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The idea has some considerable acceptances in the world of psychology. The game is known as word association. Carl Jung, a noted Swiss psychologist, stated that emotions, reactions, and verbal responses, are actually connected to each other. As a result, the game might be said to have psychological foundations. Many experts, however, concluded that the game was little more than a collection of unstructured ramblings that had no introspective effect on the players' minds.

Now imagine you're visiting a friend's house with a large number of visitors. The game is then decided to be played by the host. There are many laughter, as well as amusing and filthy comments, and the party becomes more lively. You are not drinking and have decided to participate in order to fully comprehend the psychological effects. The game begins, you respond to relationships with nonsense, religion with personal, rationality with necessity and then when you hear the word academics, you fluster and reply with a response such as talent or capacity. Your friends laugh at you and call you a donkey for being concerned about academics; there are assurance-based nods and a lot of reassuring pats that you need not be concerned. After the party, you realise that you are actually quite concerned about your academics, and that anxiety has settled in the back of your skull, sucking the dopamine and serotonin (happy hormones) out of your system.

However, the question now is whether your stumble was caused by anxiety or just a change in pace where you couldn't think of an appropriate response. Also, the later realization, that you may really be worried about your academics, is a logical conclusion, or just you overthinking since the word made a fool out of you in front of your peers, and now you have made hasty conclusions that you really worry about your grades so much that it has occupied some part of your sub-conscious and tends to the moods full of misery that you accompany (more common than you might believe).

This technique, however, also known as the implicit association, has seen its use in marketing campaigns where the general audience response to words is factored into consideration. We all know the recent fiasco with Fab India, and do know that words and responses matter. The question now is whether it truly spins your mind or whether you need to have a life and start drinking at parties.……

What hits the head stays in the head, therefore we may never know. Enjoy the game and your responses till then, and remember that wittiness can make you a star at these gatherings!

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