Definition of Social Schemas:

Social Schemas refer to cognitive structures and mental frameworks that individuals develop to organize and interpret social information. These schemas are based on our past experiences, cultural norms, and social interactions, and they greatly influence our understanding of the world around us.

Characteristics of Social Schemas:

  1. Organizing Social Information: Social schemas help in categorizing and organizing various aspects of social life, such as groups, roles, and behaviors, which allows individuals to make sense of their social environment.
  2. Biased Perception: Social schemas may lead to biased perceptions and judgments as they often rely on stereotypes, generalizations, and assumptions about certain social groups or situations.
  3. Efficiency: These schemas provide cognitive shortcuts, enabling individuals to quickly process social information and make judgments, often without conscious awareness.
  4. Influence on Memory: Social schemas influence how we encode, store, and retrieve social information, as they shape our attention, interpretation, and recall of social experiences.
  5. Resistance to Change: Once formed, social schemas can be resistant to change, even when confronted with contradictory evidence. They tend to perpetuate existing beliefs and perceptions.