Here’s a little game for you to play. It’s simple, but heavy on the
psychology: this is a game to play with somone you know very well, or
you’ll be rubbish at it.
It’s for two people, Alice and Bob. Alice thinks of a category and an item, and tells Bob the category. Bob then, as fast as he can, names the first three things that come into his head in the category, in true word-association Mallett’s Mallet stylee. The game is for the item that Alice thinks of to be the third thing that Bob says. If it is, Alice gets a point; if it isn’t, she doesn’t. Then Bob thinks of a category and an item, etc. Alternate goes from then on; winner is first to ten, or stop when you get bored.
Strategy, rules, and tactics
You can’t pick things with an “inherent order“. “Integers” isn’t a good
category, because pretty much everyone will say “1, 2, 3“.
The guesser needs to be on their honour to really say the first three things they think of; if they think hard about it and try and deliberately think of “different” things then it spoils the game.
It’s surprisingly difficult! If you really know the person well, then you can score points with categories like “Cars“, or “People we know“, or something like that. What you’re aiming for, in order for the game to be fun, is a category where you can guess the third item that the other person will say, but a category where other people would not say that thing third. If you pick something where pretty much everyone would say the same three things then you’re not really entering into the spirit of it (and you’d also probably lose on the “inherent order” rule).