What Is Accommodation Psychology?

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Accommodation occurs when a person’s existing mental framework, called a schema, must be altered to adapt to new information. Within psychology, accommodation is a component of Jean Piaget’s process of adaptation and cognitive development.

Accommodation most often occurs in children, however, adults may also experience similar cognitive changes, especially if a major event changes one’s perceptions on a large scale. For example, a child develops a schema about who “mommy” is. If the child’s mother cooks every meal at home, the child may think that all women who serve him food are “mommy.” This would be evident if he called another woman “mommy” when given food by that person. When he is corrected to call the woman another name, he has to undergo an accommodation process to adapt to the change in his schema.