Evaluate Schema Theory with Reference to Relevant Studies. Essay

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Schemas are cognitive structures which organize our knowledge of objects, events, ourselves, and others. There are different terms that are used to refer to schemas that are relevant to different aspects of the world. Scripts are schemas which provide information about a sequence of events/daily routine such as going to school. Self-schemas organize information we have about ourselves, such as our strengths and weaknesses. The last is the social schema, which represents information about groups of people such as Americans, women, etc, and this is how stereotypes are also developed. According to theorists the main functions of the schema are, organizing information in memory, regulating behaviour, being activated to increase information-processing efficiency, enabling the generation of expectations about objects, events, and people, and they are resistant to change which ensures continuity in the ways we process information and the ways we act. Despite a few limitations that the schema theory has, its generally well accepted and supported. Bartlett (1932) wanted to look at the effect that schemas have on memory. He had his participants read “The War of the Ghosts.” 2 techniques were used. Serial reproduction and repeated reproduction. In serial, the 1st participant read the original story, and then wrote it on paper. Then a 2nd participant, reads whats been written by the 1st participant. Then the 2nd reproduces it on paper for the 3rd participant and so on. In repeated reproduction, the same participant reproduces the story 6 or 7 times. Bartlett found that as the reproductions went on, the stories became shorter. Also that certain details had been left out or changed. These changes were in an effort to make the story more comprehend-able from within the participants experiences and cultural backgrounds. For examples the word canoes became boats, and hunting seals

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