QOTD: Let’s Learn Something New

Dogs and cats and jellyfish, oh shit!

Let’s use this kinda confusing quote to chat about a couple of ways we take in new information from the time we’re young.

According to Piaget—the main dude when it comes to cognitive development—we respond to new information in two ways: assimilation of knowledge and accommodation of knowledge.

Assimilation occurs when we adjust an already developed schema to make new information make sense. Think of schema as buckets in your brain. When you see a Golden Retriever for the first time at age 7, you automatically adjust your Poodle bucket that had been created when you brought home your lovely poodle, Earl, at age 6, to become an all new bucket labeled DOGS. Then, you see a cat for the first time. You put the cat into the DOGS bucket, until someone explains the differences. Upon learning the similarities and differences between dogs and cats, you change your DOGS bucket to an ANIMALS bucket and so on…

Accommodation occurs when your ANIMALS bucket gets blown to smithereens upon encountering a jellyfish.

Because you had made sense of animals using specific criteria like, four legs, smaller than humans, makes sounds vs uses words to communicate, etc., the introduction of a jellyfish made it necessary to revolutionize the way you think about animals.

Anytime a major revolution has to happen in order to understand something, that’s called accommodation.

While this type of learning continues throughout our lives, it’s easier for young people to accept major challenges to their current schema. That’s one of the reasons why adults can be so close-minded, sometimes.

In honor of our QOTD: expose yourself to new information, diverse populations, all the things.

Learn. Assimilate. Accommodate. Keep your mind open and your heart full.  

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#DoThisThing: Ask the Important Questions

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