A cognitive framework or concept that helps organize and interpret information. Schemas can be useful, because they allow us to take shortcuts in interpreting a vast amount of information. However, these mental frameworks also cause us to exclude pertinent information in favor of information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs and ideas. Schemas can contribute to stereotypes and make it difficult to retain new information that does not conform to our established schemas (Van Wagner, 2005).  


A schema for an office allows people to hear the word "office" and have everything incorporated with an office come to their mind.