Psychology 101: War of the Ghosts

I would just like to start this article off by saying I have no sense of time. I was about to apologize profusely as I thought I was posting this a week late BUT it turns out I’m still on schedule. (Not by my own doing of course – I had to be reminded again to write this).  

Because of my inability to actually know what time is I thought, hey time is something super interesting I could write about. But then I also realized I would have to do research and ya know not in the mood 😀 So I’m going back to digging into the DP psychology course to bring you today’s article abbouuuuut Schema theory! (I’m crossing my fingers I haven’t written about this already ‘cause that would be super awkward).

Firstly, what is a Schema?

Schemas are mental representations of the world! It’s how we sort knowledge, memories and experiences.

Let me give an example:

A schema for school would include: books, desks, laptops, teachers, uniform and pain.

Most people from similar cultures or backgrounds have similar schemas so the one I mentioned above is probably the schema we all have about school. However schemas can differ a little bit depending on the person. For example:

My schema for the summer holidays: beach, travel, sunburn, ice-cream, reading, family.

Someone else’s schema for the holidays: video games, napping, couch, hiding in your room.

So what’s schema theory?

Schema theory suggests that we don’t passively take in information but actively processes and analyze information and interpret into our schemas.

Anything else?

Why yes! I’m going to tell you about a real life study that was conducted to prove schema theory (I know, very professional of me).

The study is called War of the Ghosts (is that a brilliant name or what?) and was conducted by Bartlett in 1932.  

The aim of the study was to if people’s schemas affected how we create memories.

Bartlett told his participants the War of the Ghosts story which is a Native American tale which was unfamiliar to the British participants. (If you want to check out the story yourself click here!)

After they were told the story the participants had to retell the story after different time intervals (hours, days, weeks, months, years etc etc etc).

The results showed that the participants memories changed the story by shortening the story, adding personal connections and emotions, and changing details to fit with their culture (such as changing the word canoe to boat).

This demonstrates the participants were using schemas to fill in the gaps in their memory. Think about it logically – if someone tells you a story it’s extremely unlikely you’re going to remember every detail of it. So when you’re asked to repeat the story you’re going to draw on past knowledge and experiences and what generally makes sense to you to fill in the missing information! So! That’s using schemas!

I hope that was at least somewhat interesting to you guys! See you next time in psychology 101 🙂






3 Comments Add yours

  1. Suphanat_Is says:

    Bartlett –> IB Exam in a Few Months TT

    Liked by 1 person

  2. arsineho says:

    them sources tho noiceeeeee!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. saloni says:

    You’re welcome for the reminder 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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