A schema (pl. schemata) is a mental structure that represents some aspect of the world… People use schemata to organize current knowledge and provide a framework for future understanding…
However, schemata can influence and hamper the uptake of new information (proactive interference), such as when existing stereotypes, giving rise to limited or biased discourses and expectations (prejudices), may lead an individual to ‘see’ or ‘remember’ something that has not happened because it is more believable in terms of his/her schema:
Schema is a theory of learning – therefore, schemata are either taught or caught. In the case of Judge Lackey as the hero of USA v Scruggs, the schema was both taught and caught.
New information that falls within an individual’s schema is easily remembered and incorporated into their world view. However, when new information is perceived that does not fit a schema, many things can happen. The most common reaction is to simply ignore or quickly forget the new information. This can happen on a deep level — frequently an individual does not become conscious of or even perceive the new information. However, when the new information cannot be ignored, existing schemata must be changed.
Enculturation is the process whereby an established culture teaches an individual by repetition its accepted norms and values, so that the individual can become an accepted member of the society and find their suitable role. Most importantly, it establishes a context of boundaries and correctness that dictates what is and is not permissible
Like it or not, Judge Lackey’s conduct invites questions as does the continued insistence none are needed. If Judge Lackey has done nothing wrong, a thorough examination of his role should be welcome.
Some have claimed that his ex parte contact with Tollison – documented in the ore tenus motion – was allowable because it gave neither party a procedural disadvantage. Duh. The suit itself was a procedural advantage and clearly intended as such or AAA procedure would have been followed and insisted on.
Jones knew the contract he signed required arbitration. Tollison knew, too. Judge Lackey’s justification of Tollison’s ex parte conversation doesn’t justify the part of the parte that appears to have been ex(ed) by circumventing the terms of the contract to publicly embarrass Scruggs and put proprietary information in the public domain.
But the emotional high point of Wednesday’s hearing came when State Farm attorney James R. Robie posed a certain highly specific question to Hood, the very asking of which suggested that State Farm might have somehow gained access to sources who were once quite close to Scruggs.
It could be that the hero schema of Judge Lackey is required to justify the villain schema of Scruggs – deep-seated schemata are hard to change. An individual will often prefer to live with inconsistencies rather than to change a deeply-held value or belief.
If that’s the case, perhaps Mark Twain’s advice will be helpful, get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.