Shared Knowledge Shapes Personal Knowledge

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Shared knowledge shapes personal knowledge in two main ways. It helps an individual filter new and/or existing personal knowledge, and it helps the individual’s personal knowledge expand. As will be explained later on however, these two processes are not necessarily independent, and there are some implications regarding the distinction between whether it is shared knowledge that shapes personal, or personal knowledge that shapes shared. As mentioned previously, shared knowledge may affect the way in which individuals filter and/or store new or existing personal knowledge. That means new information or societal influences may change the individuals’ perspective on their existing personal knowledge, or it may change the way they select…show more content…
They call it “the schema theory”. According to this theory, the way new information is processed depends significantly on previous knowledge that is stored in the brain in schemas. Schemas are “cognitive structures that provide a framework for organizing information about the world, events, people, and actions.” (1) The effect of schemata on knowledge can be seen through an experiment Bartlett performed whereby English background participants were asked to read and reproduce a Native American folk story. (1) The findings of the study showed that indeed cultural and societal factors may influence memory and perception. This approach shows how culture, i.e. shared knowledge, can affect the way we process new knowledge. The shared knowledge which is culture has been adapted in our minds and has become personal knowledge, and now acts as a filter for all new information we receive. Therefore, the final result after all the processing of the information, which is our personal knowledge, is different than it would be if our shared knowledge (i.e. our culture, society, etc.) was different. For example, if the participants in Bartlett’s experiment were Asian, or Greek, they may have replaced the same words with different ones, or they may have maintained these words but changed other ones so that the story's feature would be culturally familiar to them. There are however implications to this case. Personal knowledge is not only shaped…show more content…
Amongst other things, the arts tend to appeal to people’s emotions. Emotions are a way of knowing, a tool if you may, through which we receive new knowledge; a perspective through which we interpret certain information. Therefore, if emotion is affected in any way, the way in which knowledge is perceived or interpreted will be affected as well. To offer music as an example. In this case, the shared knowledge is the music itself. Usually, when the music someone is listening to is sad and depressing or happy and energetic, his emotions may vary respectively, his behavior may change, his view of certain things may be different. Especially if the lyrics in the music convey a certain message or introduce the listener to a new truth, new knowledge, or a different perspective that he had not previously consider, his view of society may change radically. He may interpret others’ behavior differently, or he may be reluctant to listen to, or even accept, new opinions and ideas. One implication to this

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