n. 1. in Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development, the process of incorporating new information into pre-existing cognitive schemas. See also Piagetian theory of intelligence- accommodation- adaptation. 2. in making judgments, this refers to finding similarities between the target being judged and features of the context in which it is judged. For example, meeting a person in a completely social context (e.g., an enjoyable party) could lead to a more positive evaluation of the person than would have been the case in a more stressful context (work). 3. the process by which and the extent to which an immigrant adopts the new culture's beliefs and practices.
ASSIMILATION: "A person with a pre-existing schema of big dogs encounters a Great Dane for the first time, causing assimilation occurs when this knowledge is stored in the big dog category."