Accommodation Lawprinciple

OF. The concept of accommodation in psychology has a variety of meanings depending on the context in which it is used. In general terms, it refers to any movement or adjustment (physical or psychological) that is made to prepare the organism for some stimulus input. In the context of vision, it refers to the automatic adjustment process wherein the shape of the lens of the eye changes to focus on objects situated at different distances from the observer. The suspensory ligaments hold the lens in a relatively flattened position when the normal eye is at rest and can focus clearly on objects that are about 20 feet away (distant vision). When objects are closer than 20 feet (near vision), the ciliary muscles contract, which causes relaxation of the suspensory ligaments and which, in turn, allows the flattened lens to thicken or bulge in shape, causing a sharper focus of light rays on the retina. The term accommodation sensation refers to a sensation that accompanies changes of visual adjustment that is attributable to changes in tension of the ciliary muscles that control the shape of the lens, and the term accommodation time refers to temporal duration from the moment a visual stimulus is presented in the line of vision until the lenses of the eyes have adjusted for clear vision of an object. S. Bartley reports that level of illumination has an influence on visual accommodation and that the most likely theory of the physiological mechanism for accommodation is that of a basic tonal background caused by vascular innervation of the sympathetic nervous system that affects the oculomotor nerve to make specific focusing adjustments. In the context of infant and childhood development, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) uses the term accommodation to refer to the child's modification of ideas or concepts of the world in response to new experiences in the environment or in response to experiences that are inconsistent with previously known concepts or ideas. When accommodation is used in the context of nerve activity, it describes the increased excitability of the nerve that occurs when a constant stimulus (such as an electric current) is applied to the nerve, and the subsequent slow decrease ("accommodation") in nerve excitability with continued stimulation. When the stimulus is terminated, a sudden drop in nerve excitability occurs. After such a sequence of events and following termination of the stimulating event, the nerve is less sensitive briefly to stimulation than it was before initiation of the original stimulus. Accommodation is used in social psychological and sociological contexts to refer to a process of social adjustment that is designed to create or maintain group harmony. The notion of accommodation in the case of social behavior may take the form of bargaining, conciliation, conflict resolution, compromise, arbitration, negotiation, or truce-making among the concerned or antagonistic individuals, groups, or nations. In a historical context, in the area of attention, the term accommodation is archaic and once referred to the person's adjustment or readjustment that was essential to the maximal clearness (E. B. Titchener referred to "sensory clearness" or "attensity") of an impression when the normal mean accommodation time was measured to be about one and one-half second with a range between 0.2 and 3.0 seconds. See also ATTENTION, LAWS/PRINCIPLES OF; BALANCE, PRINCIPLES AND THEORIES OF; FESTINGER'S COGNITIVE DISSONANCE THEORY; PIAGET'S THEORY OF DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES. REFERENCES

Titchener, E. R. (1908). Lectures on the experimental psychology of feeling and attention. New York: Macmillan. Bartley, S. (1951). The psychophysiology of vision. In S. S. Stevens (Ed.), Handbook of experimental psychology. New York: Wiley. Piaget, J. (1954). The construction of reality in the child. New York: Basic Books. Alpern, M. (1962). Accommodation. In H.

Darson (Ed.), The eye. Vol. 3. New York: Academic Press.

ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION, THEORY OF. = need achievement = achievement need. The American psychologist Henry A. Murray (1893-1988) first defined an individual's need for achievement (achievement motivation or nAch) as a desire for significant accomplishments, for mastering skills, for overcoming obstacles in the way of one's success, or for rapidly attaining high standards. Murray and other researchers, such as the American psychologists David C. McClelland (19171998) and John W. Atkinson (1923- ), developed various ways to measure achievement motivation, prominent among which is the use of personality "projective" tests (such as the Thematic Apperception Test, or TAT, where the person's task is to invent stories about the content of ambiguous pictures or photos). McClelland extended the concept of nAch from the level of analysis of the individual to that of entire societies and cultures. The theoretical underpinnings of achievement motivation, including both "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" motives, have two essential components: an assumed energizing or motivating mechanism that directs a person toward goals, and a set of internalized conditions or standards (whether created by oneself or by others) that represent personal fulfillment or achievement. A number of criticisms have been leveled against the theory of nAch. For example, low reliability and questionable validity assessments have been found for the TAT measures; and the nAch researchers place a narrow emphasis on personality as a crucial determinant of behavior and demonstrate an inability to find adequate results concerning nAch in women. On the other hand, it's been suggested that the unsatisfactory validity and reliability assessments of nAch measures may be due to the attempt to measure a spectrum of personality traits that is too broad, and forced-choice types of questions, rather than projective-types of tests, be used where individuals being tested would choose between "achievement-related" and "affiliation-related" personal styles. The nAch viewpoint was augmented in the 1970s when the field of cognitive psychology first appeared and emphasized a person's "cognitions" about the nature and purpose of achievement in a cultural context. Then, by the 1980s, the unresolved question was raised as to whether nAch should be studied as a personality trait, as suggested by personality psychologists, or as a cognitive behavior, as suggested by cognitive psychologists. Perhaps future research on the concept of nAch will show greater reconciliation of the areas of personality psychology and cognitive psychology. See also MOTIVATION, THEORIES OF. REFERENCES

Murray, H. A. (1938). Explorations in personality. New York: Oxford University Press.

Atkinson, J. W. (1958). Motives in fantasy, action, and society. New York: Van Nostrand.

McClelland, D. C. (1961). The achieving society. New York: Van Nostrand. Atkinson, J. W., & Feather, N. (Eds.) (1966). A theory of achievement motivation. New York: Wiley. Heckhausen, H. (1968). Achievement motivation: Current problems and some contributions toward a general theory of motivation. In W. Arnold (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Horner, M. (1972). Toward an understanding of achievement-related conflicts in women. Journal of Social Issues, 28, 147-172.

McClelland, D. C. (1973). Testing for competence rather than for "intelligence." American Psychologist, 28, 1-14. Weiner, B. (Ed.) (1974). Achievement motivation and attribution theory. Morris-town, NJ: General Learning Press. McClelland, D. C., Atkinson, J. W., Clark, R., & Lowell, E. (1976). The achievement motive. New York: Irvington. Heckhausen, H. (1977). Achievement motivation and its constructs: A cognitive model. Motivation & Emotion, 1, 283-329.

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