How Social Schemas Theory and Related Research Contributes to Our Understanding of the Way in Which People Evaluate and React in Their Social Environment

1519 words 7 pages
How social schemas theory and related research contributes to our understanding of the way in which people evaluate and react in their social environment

Cognitive representations of social situations are referred to as 'schemas'. These are mental structures, active in our brain, providing us with a knowledge store which determines how we view our social surroundings. These schemas are built from organised pre-registered data which determine our reactions to, and perceptions of, everyday life activity. They have different category identification, including person, role and event schemas, each a mental structure of a particular trait, role or situation.

This assignment aims to evaluate our understanding of the social
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“Although the Heider and Simmel experiment might seem a simplistic starting point, the development of research on social perception and cognition has had enormous practical significance. The findings in this area are relevant to psychologists' understanding of what happens in courtrooms, how responsiblity is allocated, all kinds of problem solving, how risks are assessed, and how decision are made about what levels of risk are acceptable in societies”. (Buchanan, Anand, Joffe & Thomas, 2007, p.61).

Attribution theories are another concept which people use to examine the way we preceive behaviours. There are two types of this theory: internal or dispositional causes, which involve explaining your actions in certain situations. The second type is external or situational causes, in which we make assumptions about a particular event or what is happening in circumstances around us.

Jones and Davis (1965) suggested that people pay more attention to internal attributions rather than accidential attributions. For example seeing a person behave in a friendly manner, we assume that this person has a friendly nature. We predict this behaviour as consistent and it is most likely to be associated with a person's personality traits rather than situational or external causes.

Harold Kelley's


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