Disrupting schemas make people talk

According to Wikipedia, schemas are:

“…a mental structure of pre-conceived ideas, a framework representing some aspect of the world, or a system of organizing and perceiving new information.”

It is also something that:

“…influence attention and the absorption of new knowledge: people are more likely to notice things that fit into their schema, while re-interpreting contradictions to the schema as exceptions or distorting them to fit. Schemata have a tendency to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information.”

So, what happens when something doesn’t fit in? Well, it might be interpreted as an exception, or we might distort it to make it fit in. And we might also talk.

As mentioned on Brains on Fire, when something disrupts our schemas we stop and think, and we talk. The challenge is to be disruptive enough to be talked about, but I think in many businesses, it might not take too much effort to come up with something disruptive.

Banks that are open when you are free from work?
Airlines that actually have good quality loudspeakers and an adjusted volume so you don’t suffer or have to put your fingers in your ears when they are in use?
Or when an employee actually is empowered enough to make a decision that makes you a happy customer, without involving a superior?

Other suggestions of easy ways to disrupt a schema?



Kristofer Mencák has a M.Sc. in Business Administration from Stockholm School of Economics. He is a consultant, author and lecturer on social media, viral marketing and word of mouth. He has also recently been travelling the world teaching the dance kizomba.

0 Comments on “Disrupting schemas make people talk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.