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Evaluate schema theories with referance to relevant research studies

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Evaluate schema theory, with reference to research studies Schema are mental network of knowledge outline, centering on a specific theme, belief and expectations about particular aspect of the mind, which help us to organize our knowledge, but also organizes assumptions about things and are used for interpreting and processing information. Schemata help understand how people categorize and interpret information but how memory can be distorted. Reconstructive memory is an explanation used to show how memory could be distorted through schemas but schemas are a quite vague theory as it is unknown how we acquired them, how schemas influence schema theory and it is therefore vague. Bartlett's research was mainly on reconstructive memory; his serial reproduction experiment revolved about a story which involved ghost, Indians and was mainly abstract for people who were not of this culture. He thought that western cultured people would not be able to read and remember a traditional American Indian story since they haven't got a schema of it. A group of people was asked to read through the story twice and then from memory write it back down in a story form to test their recognition. ...read more.


Loftus and Palmer continued Bartlett's findings to do their own experiment on reconstructive memory for eyewitness testimony. They had 45 students to investigate the accuracy on memory when a leading question is asked to eye witnessed, so the students were asked to watch 7 films of traffic accidents, then each one was given a questionnaire about those films. The question, "About how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?" drew out higher estimates of speed than questions which used the verbs collided, bumped, conducted, or hit in place of smashed. On a retest one week later, those participants who received the verb smashed were more likely to say "yes" to the question, "Did you see any broken glass?", even though broken glass was not present in the film. These results are consistent with the view that the questions asked subsequent to an event can cause a reconstruction in one's memory of that event. The controlled lab experiment is reported in which participants viewed a car accident and then answered questions about what they had seen in the film. ...read more.


Yuille and Cutchall criticized Loftus and Palmer because they disagreed about whether schemas can or not be changed and because it lacked ecological validity. They didn't believe that there were specific schemas for verbs or that words could affect and distort memory. They conducted an experiment where they were allowed to used real life eye-witnesses and asked them questions about the crime. Their experiment was linked to schema theory because its about past experiences and memories, where it can be mixed with everyday things but schema theory as they tried to justify as having no concrete evidence/ It is not entirely clear on how we got or created schemas, there is no part of the brain which produces them, making it only a theory since it's not specific enough. To conclude there has been limitations which explain that there is not enough information and proof for the schema theory to make the experiments generalized to the whole of society but yet the experiments shows that schemas theory is to be taken into account when asking leading questions. ...read more.

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