Schemata (plural for schema) is a term used to describe the organization of information into units or representations. Essentially, it describes a way of organizing meaningful experiences stored in memory. Schemata are formed from experiences. An individual’s schemata comprise his or her knowledge about the world, which constantly expands and changes as new experiences and information are encountered. Schemata are not static, but rather dynamic; they can be expanded, refined, nullified, or replaced. Importantly, schemata are conceptualizations for describing and explaining mental representations, not actual, tangible structures that can be viewed with brain imaging, for example. This entry provides an overview of schemata and schema theory and its application to the field of communication sciences.

The term schemata has been applied in fields such as linguistics, ...

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