Script Definition


An internalised representation or ‘story’ about what typically happens in a specified situation. Scripts are a type of reconstructive memory where the child fuses together many different instances of the same sequence of events and thus develops a generalised script of what generally happens, and consequently, what he or she might expect to happen in future. If we were to ask a young child what happens when we go to church, he might tell us: ‘We go in, sit down, then we stand up and listen to a man talking, then we say a prayer and go home’. At first scripts are restricted to a few acts, but become more elaborate with age. Children rely on scripts to organise and interpret everyday life, and will often use them as a frame of reference to aid in the understanding of stories that other people tell to them. They have special significance when children are asked to testify as witnesses (see children as witnesses).


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