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Scripts

Kathy Kellermann and Tae-Seop Lim


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Understanding and production of messages and social behaviors are based on communicators’ prior knowledge, which is organized and structured by schemas ( Bartlett 1932 ; Rumelhart 1980 ). Over the years, researchers have identified different kinds of schemas, such as frames, story schemas, macro-structures, scenarios, mental models, scripts, and memory organization packets (MOPs). Scripts are event schemas; that is, they structure common and ritualized activities that involve a sequence of actions. A script is a sequential list of characteristic actions of events or activities, such as eating at a restaurant or attending a birthday party. Scripts guide one's actions, expectations, and understandings during the enactment of the script-based activities (→  schemas ; Schemas, Knowledge Structures, and Social Interaction ). Scripts were first introduced by Roger Schank (1975 ; Schank & Abelson 1977 ). In an attempt to provide a data structure enabling computers to understand typical and repeatedly performed human activities, Schank (1975) developed conceptual dependency theory. Given that the basis of natural language is conceptual, understanding language involves extracting its conceptual base; that is, identifying concepts and realizing the relationships between them. Building on conceptual dependency theory, Schank and Abelson (1977) introduced the concept of a script, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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