Schema (psychology)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In psychology and cognitive science, a schema (plural schemata or schemas), describes an organized pattern of thought or behavior. It can also be described as a mental structure of preconceived ideas, a framework representing some aspect of the world, or a system of organizing and perceiving new information. Schemata influence attention and the absorption of new knowledge: people are more likely to notice things that fit into their schema, while re-interpreting contradictions to the schema as exceptions or distorting them to fit. Schemata have a tendency to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information. Schemas can help in understanding the world. Most situations do not require effortful thought when using schema, since automatic thought is all that is required. People can organize new perceptions into schemas quickly. People use schemata to organize current knowledge and provide a framework for future understanding. Examples of schemata include academic rubrics, social schemas, stereotypes, social roles, scripts, worldviews, and archetypes. In Piaget's theory of development, children adopt a series of schemata to understand the world.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Schema (psychology)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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