A psychological tendency to interpret new experience in a manner consistent with existing concepts or knowledge; compare accommodation. It includes the influence on perception of habits, interests, and sentiments, a concept introduced by Allport and Leo Postman in 1945 (see also levelling and sharpening). Assimilation by condensation involves fusing several details into one. Assimilation to expectation involves transforming details into what one's habits of thought suggest they usually are. Assimilation to linguistic habits involves fitting phenomena into the familiar frameworks of conventional verbal categories (see also categorization). Assimilation to interest involves giving primary attention to details which reflect one's occupational interests or roles. Assimilation to prejudice may simply involve assimilation to expectation or to linguistic categories, but it may also involve deep emotional assimilation to hostility based on racial, class, or personal prejudices. See also addition; deletion; substitution; transformation; transposition.
Subjects: Media Studies.