Effect of schemas on understanding the social world

Description A schema is a mental structure we use to organize and simplify our knowledge of the world around us.

Effect of schemas on understanding the social world

In plain English, they are theories that you carry around about how people and social situations work.

Effect of schemas on understanding the social world

For example, if we told you that there was a circus in town, and then asked you whether there were any elephants in town, your schematic understanding of circuses would likely lead you to say, "Yes, there are elephants in town. But notice that in answering the question, you relied upon your schema i.

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Social schemas are important because they help solve two problems. First, as the circus example demonstrates, they help to fill in when information is missing.

Even though you may not have seen an elephant in town, you can still infer their presence if you know a circus is in town.

Similarly, you might infer that the cell-phone-wielding BMW driver is impatient based upon the schemas you have developed for different types of people. Second, schemas help to reduce the flow of information. If you think about it, you are constantly surrounded by more information than you could ever hope to process.

As you read this text, for example, lots of things are happening that you probably are not aware of. Perhaps a clock is ticking in the background, or the heating and cooling system is cycling on and off, or someone is talking nearby.

Effect of schemas on understanding the social world

Despite all of this activity, your schemas for studying and reading help you focus your attention and filter out the irrelevant information. Similarly, when you meet someone for the first time, your social perception schemas are more likely to direct your attention to their facial characteristics and tone of voice than to their shoe size.

Schemas are important because they shape perceptions. Imagine, for example, that you and a friend hear about a person who is crying. If you believe that she just won the lottery, while your friend believes that she just lost a loved one, then you will form very different impressions of her.

Empirical demonstrations of the power that schemas have to shape perception range from the amusing to the profound. Their task was simply to count the number of rule infractions committed by each team. Presumably, the schemas that the students held at the time would lead them to anticipate cheating on the part of their opponents, and honorable behavior on the part of their fellow classmates.

Consistent with this analysis, students from the two schools saw their opponents commit more infractions than their classmates.Using schemas, we are able to develop an understanding of the objects around us based on characteristics that we have encountered in similar objects in the past.

Past schemas can also help us in future, novel situations. Social schemas It is a quick step from Asch's work on impression formation, which seems to suggest that people carry trait information around in their heads, to the idea that we develop social schemas for the people around us.

Social schemas (Fiske, ) are abstract mental representations of the social world. Efficient memorization using the spacing effect: literature review of widespread applicability, tips on use & what it's good for.

According to Sternberg, a complete explanation of intelligence entails the interaction of these three subtheories.


The componential subtheory specifies the potential set of mental processes that underlies behavior (i.e., how the behavior is generated) while the contextual subtheory relates intelligence to the external world in terms of what .

Social Science And Social Psychology - Human society is involved to become more and more sophisticated every day. Along with that fast changing world, social science needs have grown to become a necessity. effects, the accuracy of perceptions of the effect of the media, while it has been explored (Gunther, ), seems generally irrelevant.

In the broader schema of understanding the third-person effect, the accuracy of the perception may not matter as long as the perception has the potential to influence other attitudes or behav-.

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