Lifespan Theories

Critical Thinking Questions

What is the difference between assimilation and accommodation? Provide examples of each.


Assimilation is when we take in information that is comparable to what we already know. Accommodation is when we change our schemata based on new information. An example of assimilation is a child’s schema of “dog” based on the family’s golden retriever being expanded to include two newly adopted golden retrievers. An example of accommodation is that same child’s schema of “dog” being adjusted to exclude other four-legged furry animals such as sheep and foxes.

Why was Carol Gilligan critical of Kohlberg’s theory of moral development?


Gilligan criticized Kohlberg because his theory was based on the responses of upper class White men and boys, arguing that it was biased against women. While Kohlberg concluded that women must be deficient in their moral reasoning abilities, Gilligan disagreed, suggesting that female moral reasoning is not deficient, just different.

What is egocentrism? Provide an original example.


Egocentrism is the inability to take the perspective of another person. This type of thinking is common in young children in the preoperational stage of cognitive development. An example might be that upon seeing his mother crying, a young child gives her his favorite stuffed animal to make her feel better.