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Schema Theory

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Vaishnavi Mamillapalle
Psychology HL
Mr. Wilcox
Schema Essay
December 9th, 2012
 Schema Theory
            Schemas are mental representation of knowledge built through experiences from people, situation or object.  Schema Theory is divided into three stages to get a better understanding of the memory processes which are “1. Encoding- Transforming sensory information to meaningful memory 2. Storage- Creates a biological trace of the memory, which is either consolidated or lost 3. Retrieval- using stores information all the time”. “Schema is seen as a kind of framework where some information is filled in and others are left blank”. Schema theory tries to approach the analysis of the world from a psychologist point of view which origins from cognitive science. Schemas are very helpful in different ways, and they are used to organize our knowledge which would make it easier for us to recall. They also help us to understand present situations and also try to predict what is most likely to happen next. Schema theory allows us to analyse our experiences by using significant social and textual schemas, and if no relevant schema is recalled from long term memory a new schema starts to create, and they are again stores in long term memory. “War of Ghosts” experimented by Bartlett whose aim was to support for the influence of schemas on cognitive processes is widespread. Bartlett describes how schemas influence memory in the classic study based on a Native American folktale. In this study Bartlett asked the participants to read through a story twice, later after 15 minutes Bartlett asked those participants to reproduce the story from memory. Bartell asked the participants to reproduce the same story couple times. After the research was done he noticed few things like the story became shorter the more times they reproduce the story. The story was coherent no matter how distorted it was compared to the original story. Later on story became conventional; it could...