Table of Contents Introduction Definition of Schema Description of Schema Example of Schema Assimilation and Accomodation Example of Assimilaton and Accomodation Types of Schema Why Schema is important? Problems with Schema Self Fulfilling Prophecies Description of Prototype Definition of Prototype Example of Prototype Self Reflection References
Introduction• Social psychology is a branch of psychology that studies individuals in the social context. In other words, it is the study of how and why people think, feel, and do the things they do depending upon the situation they are in.• One of the sub topics in social psychology is Schemas and Prototypes.• Early developments of the idea in psychology emerged with the gestalt psychologists and Jean Piaget: the term "schema" was introduced by Piaget in 1926.The concept was introduced into psychology and education through the work of the British psychologist Frederic Bartlett, who drew on the term used by neurologist Henry Head. It was expanded into schema theory by educational psychologist R. C. Andersen. Since then, many other terms have been used to describe schema, such as including "frame", "scene", and "script".• The plural of Schema is Schemas (USA) or Schemata (UK). Schemas are also known as mental models, concepts, mental representations and knowledge structures
DefinitionSchemasRefers to a mental framework that allows you to makesense of aspects of your environment. Schemas enableyou to interact with your environment in an automaticmanner without effortful thought.ORA schema is a cognitive framework or concept that helpsorganize and interpret information. Schemas can beuseful because they allow us to take shortcuts ininterpreting the vast amount of information that isavailable in our environment. Schemas can alsocontribute to stereotypes and make it difficult to retainnew information that does not conform to ourestablished ideas about the world.
DescriptionSchemas affect what we notice, how we interpret thingsand how we make decisions and act. They act like filters,accentuating and downplaying various elements. Theyalso help us forecast, predicting what will happen. Weeven remember and recall things via schemas, using themto „encode‟ memories.Schemas appear very often in the attribution of cause. Themultiple necessary cause schema is one where we requireat least two causes before a „fit‟ to the schema is declared.Once we have created or accepted a schema, we will fighthard to sustain it, for example by ignoring or force-fittingobservations that do not comply with the schema. It is onlyafter sustained contrary evidence that many of us willadmit the need to change the schema.Schemas are often shared within cultures, allowing short-cut communications.We tend to have favorite schema which we use often.When interpreting the world, we will try to use these first,going on to others if they do not sufficiently fit.
Schema ExampleFor example, a young child may first develop a schema fora cat. She knows that a cat is cute, has hair, four legs anda tail. When the little girl encounters a puppy for the firsttime, she might initially call it a cat. After all, it fits in withher schema for the characteristics of a cat; it is a cuteanimal that has hair, four legs and a tail. Once she is toldthat this is a different animal called a puppy, she willmodify her existing schema for a cat and create a newschema for a puppy.
Assimilation and AccommodationJean Piaget viewed intellectual growth as a process ofadaptation (adjustment) to the world. This happens through:•Assimilation– Which is using an existing schema to deal with a new object orsituation.•Accommodation– This happens when the existing schema (knowledge) does notwork, and needs to be changed to deal with a new object orsituation.
•EquilibrationPiaget believed that cognitive development did notprogress at a steady rate, but rather in leaps andbounds. Equilibrium is occurs when a childs schemas candeal with most new information through assimilation.However, an unpleasant state of disequilibrium occurswhen new information cannot be fitted into existingschemas (assimilation).Equilibration is the force which drives the learning processas we do not like to be frustrated and will seek to restorebalance by mastering the new challenge (accommodation).Once the new information is acquired the process ofassimilation with the new schema will continue until thenext time we need to make an adjustment to it.Example of AssimilationA 2 year old child sees a man who is bald on top of his headand has long frizzy hair on the sides. To his father‟s horror,the toddler shouts “Clown, clown” .Example of AccommodationIn the “clown” incident, the boy‟s father explained to his sonthat the man was not a clown and that even though his hairwas like a clown‟s, he wasn‟t wearing a funny costume andwasn‟t doing silly things to make people laughWith this new knowledge, the boy was able to change hisschema of “clown” and make this idea fit better to a standardconcept of “clown”.
Types Of SchemasRole Schemas: Are about proper behaviours in given situations.Expectations about people in particular roles and social categories (e.g., the role of a social psychologist, student, doctor, teachers,janitors,Blacks)Self-Schemas: Are about oneself.We also hold idealized or projected selves or possible selves.Expectations about the self that organize and guide the processing of self-relevant information(eg, if we think we re reliable we ll try to always live up to that image. If we think we are sociable we are more likely to seek the company of others. )Person Schemas: It‟s about individual people.Expectations based on personality traits. What we associate with a certain type of person (e.g., introvert, warm person,outstanding leader,famous footballer)Event Schemas: Are also known as Scripts.Are about what happens in secific situations.Expectations about sequences of events in social situations. What we associate with certain situations (e.g., restaurant schemas,Demonstration,First Dating) There are also ; Social schemas are about general social knowledge. Idealized person schemas are called prototypes. The word is also used for any generalized schema. Trait schemas about the innate characteristics people have. Object schemas about inanimate things and how they work.
Why are Schemas important to us? •They reduce the amount of information to process •They reduce ambiguity •They guide our: •Attention and encoding •How quick we notice •What we notice •How we interpret what we notice •Our memory •Our judgments Why do we use Schemas? Accessibility the extent to which schemas and concepts are at the forefront of people‟s minds (and therefore are likely to be used when making judgments about the social world) So how available the schema is in our head. Fit (applicable, representative, similar) the degree to which the accessible construct fits the object/person under judgment.
The Problem with Schemas 1. Schemas can distort reality and memories 2. Schemas can persist, even when discredited - Belief perseverance 3. Schemas can be self-fulfilling - People often live up to our expectations because we treat them in ways that make them act in accordance with these expectations Self Fulfilling prophecies 1. We have expectations (schemas) about other people. 2. These expectations can influence how we act toward these people. 3. These actions can cause these people to act in ways that are consistent with our expectations
Schemas Influence Our attention and encoding Our memory Our judgments Our behaviour which can in turn influence our social environmentSchemas are also self-sustaining, and will persisteven in the face of disconfirming evidence. This isbecause if something does not match theschema, such as evidence against it, it is ignored.Some schema are easier to change than others,and some people are more open about changingany of their schemas than other people.
PrototypeAn early pioneer of prototype research waspsychologist Eleanor Rosch, whose work during the1960s and 1970s was inspired by the Aristotelianassumption that categories are logical entities whosemembership is defined by an item‟s possession of simplematching features.A concept in psychology that is related to the notion ofprototype is schema. These two terms are often usedinterchangeably, but there are subtle differences.Prototype refers to a specific ideal image of a categorymember, with all known attributes filled in. For example, the prototypic "apple" may engender arepresentation of red, round fruit, even if actual categorymembers vary so much on these characteristic dimensionsthat the prototype becomes meaningless for identifyingthem, for example some apples are green.
Eliot Smith (1998) has argued that the distinction betweenschemas and prototypes is largely inconsequential and thatfour general points can be made about schema andprototype-based processing.First, schemas and prototypes are pre existing knowledgestructures that are learned from other people or fromexperience. Second, the effects of schemas and prototypes on freerecall tasks result from two sources: information processingthat occurs at the time the stimulus information is firstlearned, and information processing that occurs when theinformation is later retrieved or reconstructed.Third, schemas and prototypes can be primed, thusinfluencing interpretations of information presented later.Finally, separate processes may govern our recall of specifictraits and our overall evaluations of a person, renderingprototypes just part of the process of knowing others.
DefinitionPrototype in Social PsychologyA prototype is a cognitive representation that exemplifiesthe essential features of a category or concept. Specifically,a prototypical representation reflects the central tendencyor the average or typical attributes of the members of acategory .ORA prototype is an abstract mental representation of thecentral tendency of members of a category .Example of PrototypeThe prototype of table consists of the knowledge that atable has four legs propping up a flat surface. People storeprototypical knowledge of social groups for example ,librarians, policemen or objects, for example, tables, cars .These prototypical representations facilitate people‟s abilityto encode, organize, and retrieve information abouteveryday stimuli.
PrototypeExampleA mental concept or prototype of a car is likely a goodcast Metal of used for driving that has four tyres, flexibleback, and a square comfortable seat. When you cameacross a car for the first time, your brain processed theimpression, comparing it to the prototype of the car. Onceit determined that the car had characteristics similar tothat prototype, it was filed away as an example of theconcept car.
Self Reflection Some people dislike police because they have a schema of police as people who perceive everyone as guilty until proven innocent. Other people feel safe around police as their schemas are more about police as brave protectors. That‟s describe me on my perception on Policemen. For very long I have schema on policemen. This schema can be categorized as Person Schema and Trait Schema. In my family . there were three relatives worked as policemen. I saw them as fierce ,mean and brutal people.They have such personalities like having deep,big,loud voice and also thick moustache. One time, I heard a story how that relative beat his own younger brother without mercy for something that can be solved amicably. I couldn‟t deal with the thought of „how could he do that to his own flesh and blood?‟.it was so violence that his younger brother and also my second cousin had to be hospitalized. When I was a kid, I loved Bollywood movies. I took the liking (actually,I still love Hindi movies..!!) for such movies form my grandparents. Most of the movies I watched, there were always a character of Policeman or „Inspector Sahab‟ having thick moustache,carrying a bat and always beating,torturing suspecting villains. The schema or mental framework that stick in my head was all Policemen were all the same. As time passed by, as I grow older and wiser ,my schema has changed.I have no more think all policemen as a fierce,mean and brutal. I have met many that were very gentle and „normal‟ like any other individuals. A lesson that learn here, we cannot stereotyping every individual the same.They have their own personality and principle.
References http://psychology.about.com/od/academicresou rces/a/social-psychology-research-topics.htm http://what-when-how.com/social- sciences/prototypes-social-science/ http://www.simplypsychology.org/social- psychology.html Michener, H. Andrew, John D. DeLamater, and Daniel J. Myers. 2004. Social Psychology. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning. Cohen (1981), Kelley (1972), Weiner (1979, 1986), Markus (1977) Wikipedia Encyclopedia