Mapping the mental lexicon

The small world of words project is a large-scale scientific study that aims to build a mental dictionary or lexicon in the major languages of the world and make this information widely available.

In contrast to a thesaurus or dictionary, we use word associations to learn about what words mean and which ones are central in the human mind. This enables psychologists, linguists, neuro-scientists and others to test new theories about how we represent and process language. This knowledge could also be applied in a variety of ways, from learning about the difference between cultures, to learning (or forgetting) new words in a first or a second language.

Participate in your language

You can help us to build a mental lexicon in your language! It takes just 5 minutes of your time. Just pick your native language below and get started right away.

Explore the lexicon

If you're curious about the results, you can explore the lexicon or look at the relations of words visualized as networks. If would like to learn about the science behind the project take a look at the research page or read about the latest news.