This term stemmed from the work of Jean Piaget and his work on cognitive development of children. Assimilation is the cognitive process of fitting new information into existing cognitive schemas, perceptions, and understanding. This means that when you are faced with new information, you make sense of this information by referring to information you already have (information processed and learned previously) and try to fit the new information into the information you already have. A similar process is accommodation (another one of Piaget's processes), but with accommodation the information you already have has to be adjusted to incorporate the new information.
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