Evaluate schema theory with reference to research studies.
The schema theory was founded by Jean Piaget in 1926. Schema Theory is thought to be the organizational framework and organization of the mind. It includes the belief that the brain classifies and organizes different information that it receives at different times.
Brewer and Treyen (1981) completed the office experiment studying schema theory. This experiment tested memory for objects in an office that thirty participants had worked in. It found that the participant’s “office schema” did affect their recall. Expected objects, such as pens, paper, and staples were recalled well. However, unexpected objects were often not remembered at all. This showed that the more used an object is, the easier it will be for your memory to recall it.
Bartlett (1932) studied reconstructive memory. The aims were to investigate the way that memory stores meaningful information. He had his participants read War of the Ghosts. His patients were asked to recall the story repeatedly at different time intervals: minutes, days, months and years. He found that as the participants recalled the story it became shorter, more coherent, more conventional, and more cliched. He concluded that memory is reconstructive, and people try to make memories fit in with whatever personal schema they have. The strengths were that this is one of the first experiments to study complex memories and it provides evidence for reconstructive memory and stimulated more research.
The schema theory is an inconsistent part of psychology because not every patient has the same type of schema. However, they are most useful. I believe, that as seen in the studies above, schema theory is present in each person but varies in between them all.