The word schemata is derived from Greek and means an underlying organizational pattern or structure. It is essentially a conceptual framework. This word is used across many disciplines with some variations in its use and meaning.

An example of this from biology could be "animals that live in the ocean." After looking at this group it is seen that there are actually four main categories of ocean-dwelling life: fish, mammals, mollusks, and arachnids. Ocean life can then be categorized under these four categories by what traits they have in common. Its use in the field of psychology refers to a mental set or representation. In psychology mental and emotional disorders can be categorized by symptoms and severity. Some of these schemata groupings are psychoses, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and neuroses.

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