From these examples one might get the impression that social-cognitive reasoning in adolescence and beyond should be complex, logical, and rational. Research reviewed by Susan Fiske and Shelly Taylor demonstrates, however, that because of limited cognitive resources and motivational biases people may frequently become "cognitive misers" who expend as little deliberate mental effort as possible in social situations. As a result, social cognition in adulthood may be marked by numerous distortions and biases, especially when reasoning is automatic rather than intentional and conscious. For instance, adults often reason in a self-serving fashion (they take more credit than they deserve for successes, and vice versa when it comes to setbacks), overgeneralize and stereotype in social situations, and engage in biased searches for information that will confirm existing expectations.
See also: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
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Elkind, David. "Strategic Interactions in Early Adolescence." In Joseph J. Adelson ed., Handbook of Adolescent Psychology. New York: Wiley, 1980.
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Michael D. Berzonsky