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ERIC Number: ED163012
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact of Mental Manipulations on Cognitive Structures.
Ryan, Michael P.
An hypothesis concerning a definition of the concepts assimilation and accommodation was tested. Both assimilation and accommodation were hypothesized to be processes that produce changes in cognitive structures--internal representations used to organize behavior. The hypothesis is that, in contrast to assimilation, the changes in structure caused by accomodation are only partially reversible. The experiment was a multidimensional scaling procedure repeated three times to reproduce walking distances between buildings on a familiar college campus. The second time, the students in the assimilation condition estimated distances between additional buildings, whereas the students in the accommodation condition were asked to estimate distances as though an imaginary barrier blocked the middle of the campus. The third time, the students were asked to reproduce their original estimates. The results showed that the accommodation condition had a statistically significant effect on the judgments made on the third trial, thus supporting the hypothesis that accommodation produces changes in cognitive structures that are not fully reversible. (CTM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.