1-What are relationship schemas and how do they work? Give at least two examples.
Schemas are cognitive frameworks that enable us to make sense of our environment. Most of the schemas are developed during childhood and are prone to change under the influence of assimilation and accommodation (DiMaggio, 1997). Schemas can also be termed as stories and core beliefs that one acquires to view his self and his relationship with individuals and objects. In other words, it is a lens through which we see the world, its phenomenon, organize and categorize our experience and use information to interpret events and happenings.
Like all the other objects and situations, individuals develop schemas about the interpersonal relationships as well. For example, a child whose mother is consistent in nurturing his feeding, safety, security and warmth needs would undoubtedly develop positive schemas about mother and it will affect his behavior after the childhood is gone. In the same way, the nature of relationship that a child develops with mother and other individuals is referred to as relationship schema. Schemas might also influence an individual in negative ways such as if a person has a schema of abandonment (his mother was working and left him alone most of the time during childhood) will compensate his feelings of inadequacy through persistent reassurance, blaming, accusing, jealousy and self harm.
2- How can attachment problems affect a person’s ability to attach to his or her God? Does this differ based on gender, age, and/or religion? If so, how? Be respectful of all religions when responding.
Besides relationship schemas of worldly creatures, it depends upon the nature of “schemas” that one formulates about the God that how one should respond to Him. Usually, a person with maladaptive relationship schemas suffers abandonment, instability, mistrust, abuse, emotional deprivation, defectiveness, shame, dependence, incompetence, social isolation, instability, failure, grandiosity, poor self control, subjugation, self sacrifice, approval seeking and pessimism (Ritter et. al., 2011). Despite these maladaptive feelings, if becomes successful to restore his positive schemas about the God due to religious causes, he might have strong relationship with God as he may find Him the only strong attachment figure in the world. On the other hand, if he thinks NO ONE cares about him including God, he would definitely develop negative relationship with God whether its Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or any other religion.
DiMaggio, P (1997). Culture and cognition. Annual Review of Sociology. 23, 263–287. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.23.1.263.
Ritter, F. E. Georgeon, O. R. et. al. (2011). An intrinsically motivated schema mechanism to model and simulate emergent cognition. Cognitive Systems Research. 15–16, 75, doi:10.1016/j.cogsys.2011.07.003.
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