Past Experiences, Schema-building, Pattern-Recognition, and…?

Look at the following string of numbers and letters.


Does it remind you of something?


What does it remind you of?

If you were born in 1982, it’s possible that the first thing that comes to your mind upon viewing this string,  is your birthday. However, if that isn’t the case and if you’ve ever installed a software application in your computer, it should remind you of a verification code. Yet, in the days of our parents, such a string of numbers and letters would either be considered gobbledegook or a cryptographic gimmick of some kind.  It would be difficult for them to recognize the pattern in the above string, because they won’t have a baseline pattern to compare it with.

Your interpretation of this string would depend upon your existing schema (created through your past experiences.) As your experiences could be vastly different from mine, this string could mean something completely different to me than it would to you.

You want to know what it means to me?

Well, it’s the blog verification code for Technorati here.

A Contextual Question: Which instructional approach explains the differences in our interpretations?