-Began his study with the initial formation of the associations rather than studying associations that were already made. In this way he could control the conditions under which the chains of ideas were formed and thus make the study of learning more objective.
-Ebbinghaus was looking for some alternatives to everyday words for his subject matter because he recognized an inherent difficulty in using stories or poetry as stimulus materials. Meanings or associations have already been attached to words by people
familiar with the language. These existing associations can facilitate the learning of material. These connections are already present at the time of the experiment, so they cannot be controlled by the experimenter. Ebbinghaus wanted to use material that would be uni- formly unassociated, completely homogeneous, and equally unfamiliar—material with which there could be few, if any, past associations. The nonsense syllables he created, typically formed of two consonants with a vowel in between (as in lef, bok, or yat), satisfied these criteria. He wrote all possible combinations of consonants and vowels on cards, yielding a supply of 2,300 syllables from which he drew at random the stimulus materials to be learned.