Table 1. Differences between mental models and schemata.

Author Basis of Differentiation Schemata Mental Models
Rutherford and Wilson (2004:312) Static vs. dynamic structure “...A procedural data structure in memory”. Use procedural data “in a computationally dynamic manner”.
Holland et al. (1986:13) Representational flexibility Inflexible knowledge structures stored in long-term memory provide “predictive knowledge for highly regular and routine situations”. Flexible knowledge structure that combines multiple schemata to represent or simulate an unfamiliar situation.
Brewer (1987:189) Generic vs. specific knowledge “...Precompiled generic knowledge structures.” “Specific knowledge structures that are constructed to represent a new situation through the use of generic knowledge of space, time, causality, and human intentionality”.