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Cognitive Script Theory and the Dynamics of Cognitive Scripting

  • By: Esther Calvete
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

People’s social behavior is controlled to a good extent by cognitive scripts learned through experience and observation of others’ behavior. After being stored in memory, these cognitive scripts can be retrieved to guide behavior and solve problems.

A cognitive script indicates the sequence of behaviors that can be expected in a certain context, how the individual should behave in that context once the individual has assumed a role in the script, and what might be the expected consequences. By means of social learning, people acquire numerous scripts indicating how to act in such diverse situations as eating in a restaurant, attending a funeral, or going on a romantic date.

L. Rowell Huesmann (1988) applied the model of cognitive scripts to explain how children learn aggression-related knowledge structures ...

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