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The Schema theory which was derived by Sir Frederic Bartlet (1886-1969) ascertains that the mind is organised into units called schemata.

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  • Essay length: 1334 words
  • Submitted: 14/02/2012
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International Baccalaureate Psychology

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Evaluating the Schema Theory

The "Schema theory" which was derived by Sir Frederic Bartlet (1886-1969) ascertains that the mind is organised into units called schemata. Schemata are "Organised structures that capture knowledge and expectations of some aspect of the world." (Bartlett, 1932). These units represent single concepts such as "dog" they are abstract and leave room for interpretation. For example within the schema of a dog, most people have teeth, fur, four legs, tail, etc. Therefore, if a person has a dog in front of them and only sees the front of the dog with the snout, fur and ears he can deduce that most likely the dog will have a tail even though he cannot see it. This is the result of default values, which fill in the missing slot when one even only sees the front of a dog and which tells a person that the dog probably has a tail. The "Schema theory" also relies on how we process memory; the process is shown below;

Encoding Storage Retrieval

Added to memory Maintained in memory Recovered from Memory

The schema theory is useful and elucidates many things that would otherwise

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