Schemas Influence On Social Interaction

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Schemas have a major influence on human social interaction. They shape our emotional response to ourselves and our contexts in relation to others. According to (Aronson et al, 2006, p.49) schemas are defined as “mental structures people use to organize their knowledge about the social world around themes or subjects”. There are many different types of schemas such as self, role, emotional and situational schemas and each of these have an influence on how one sees the world around them. This essay will discuss these schemas and how they are influenced by the situational variables that take place around them being a major factor in how we shape our emotional responses. In particular emphasis the relation schemas and their properties have to occupational…show more content…
In (Hewstone et al,1996 p.91) self schemas are described as ‘a cognitive generalisation about self derived from past experiences that organizes and processes the self related information contained in the individuals social experiences; Studies have shown that that those who tend to have depressive personality have a specific cognitive profile and self schema. ‘For example individuals who are clinically depressed show higher self-referent endorsement and use negative adjectives such as weak, hopeless, inferior and inadequate’ (Winter, 1997). In contrast individuals who tended to show positive personality traits and emotions such as helpful, sociable and achieving were those who were the non depressed controls to the study. Finally Kuiper and Derry (1982), found that people with mild depressive personalities had equal amounts of negative and positive characteristics “where as non depressed individuals endorsed and recalled positive content material only” (Winter, 1997 p.800). However situational variables can contradict this theory certain life events that are stressful or traumatic can cause a shift in one’s self schema and personality. This shows that our self schemas are not solely influenced by factors within us. They also take into account how different situations impact us. These studies of personality…show more content…
Emotional schemas are classified in fourteen dimensions and reflect how emotions are experienced and the actions taken in accordance with them (Leahy, 2002). Situational variables such as anxiety disorders and alcohol affect our emotional schemas and responses. For example emotional arousal in those who rely on alcohol and drugs may be diminished therefore reducing their judgement and likelihood to be humiliated in social settings. Similar to this individuals with PTSD use alcohol to reduce the impact of their traumatic images (Leahy, 2007). Those who rely on alcohol may have very different emotional responses when sober as opposed to when they are intoxicated this is important for an occupational therapist to know when treating clients as they have to take into account all the situational variables that maybe affecting ones emotional schema and
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