"The greatest problem with a schema is that it can lead to what is technically called a negative transfer." #readingToday
The greatest problem with a schema is that it can lead to what is technically called a negative transfer. This means that a response (or a decision to act in a certain way), that has been found appropriate for one type of situation, is transferred to or used in situations where it is inappropriate. Transfer, or positive transfer, is not only efficient but actually essential for our ability to cope with the complexity of the situations we encounter: by making use of what we have learned, we eliminate the need to assess each and every situation from scratch. The negative transfer, i.e., the use of a learned response when it is not appropriate, happens because two situations superficially seem to be similar or even identical, even though they are not. A relatively innocent example is when you rent a car where the placement of the controls for the indicators and the windshield wipers is the opposite of what you are used to. Or the difference between calculator keypads, which usually start with '7-8-9' in the upper row, and telephones, which start with '1-2-3' instead.
The ETTO Principle, Erik Hollnagel