Stories, Scripts, and Scenes: Aspects of Schema Theory

Stories, Scripts, and Scenes: Aspects of Schema Theory

Stories, Scripts, and Scenes: Aspects of Schema Theory

Stories, Scripts, and Scenes: Aspects of Schema Theory

Excerpt

This book is an expansion of three lectures on schema theory given at the University of Alberta in the fall of 1983 as part of the MacEachran Memorial Lecture Series. The lectures did not touch on all aspects of schema theory, but concentrated on issues of structure. The assumption underlying the work is that people's knowledge is organized; when we know something about a given domain our knowledge does not consist of a list of unconnected facts, but coheres in specifiable ways.

There are two primary questions to be answered as we investigate the organization of a cognitive structure: What are the units from which it is constructed, and what sorts of relations obtain among the units? Taxonomic, or categorical, structures have been investigated extensively in the old field of verbal learning and in the newer field of semantic networks. In taxonomic structures, objects and classes of objects are the units and the relations among them are those of similarity of features and class inclusion. Thus, in studies of verbal learning and memory, categorized lists of words were often used; in studies of semantic networks questions were asked about the relations among subordinate and superordinate classes of objects.

More recently, psychologists have become increasingly interested in knowledge about stories, events, and scenes. Instead of recalling lists of animals, fruits, and furniture, or answering questions about . . .

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