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 Jean Piaget, on assimilation and accomodation

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Jean Piaget, on assimilation and accomodation Empty
PostSubject: Jean Piaget, on assimilation and accomodation   Jean Piaget, on assimilation and accomodation Icon_minitimeTue Feb 28, 2012 9:35 am

I was made aware of this psychologist today -- the man seems to have developed to significant depth the study of mechanisms whereby a subject moves/shifts from self-valuing to other-valuing. Also, he distinguishes the operations whereby the child/individual values the encountered in terms of self-value and vice versa: assimilation and accomodation.

I have yet to read myself into it really, but I will post here an excerpt from the wikipedia article, which is extremely explicit in its correspondence to the terms we've been using to describe the valuing-in-terms-of aspect of value ontology, leading me to believe there may be much to go by here in developing future models and methods. I will do some more superficial searching and post it here.

Adaptive model of intellectual development:

Quote :
Piaget described intelligence as having two closely interrelated parts. The first part, which is from the first stage, was the content of children's thinking. The second part was the process of intellectual activity. He believed this process of thinking could be regarded as an extension of the biological process of adaptation. Adaptation has two pieces: assimilation and accommodation. To test his theory, Piaget observed the habits in his own children. He argued infants were engaging in an act of assimilation when they sucked on everything in their reach. He claimed infants transform all objects into an object to be sucked. The children were assimilating the objects to conform to their own mental structures. Piaget then made the assumption that whenever one transforms the world to meet individual needs or conceptions, one is, in a way, assimilating it. Piaget also observed his children not only assimilating objects to fit their needs, but also modifying some of their mental structures to meet the demands of the environment. This is the second division of adaption known as accommodation. To start out, the infants only engaged in primarily reflex actions such as sucking, but not long after, they would pick up actual objects and put them in their mouths. When they do this, they modify their reflex response to accommodate the external objects into reflex actions. Because the two are often in conflict, they provide the impetus for intellectual development. The constant need to balance the two triggers intellectual growth.

Assimilation & accomodation:

Quote :
In Assimilation, what is perceived in the outside world is incorporated into the internal world [...], without changing the structure of that internal world, but potentially at the cost of "squeezing" the external perceptions to fit — hence pigeon-holing and stereotyping.

In Accommodation, the internal world has to accommodate itself to the evidence with which it is confronted and thus adapt to it, which can be a more difficult and painful process. In the database analogy, it is like what happens when you try to put in information which does not fit the pre-existent fields and categories. You have to develop new ones to accommodate the new information.

Apparently Piaget also studied the dialectic process between those two modes of integration, which one would expect to result in a pertinent understanding of human (self-)valuing.
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