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Social Cognition

Conclusion

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

Bibliography

Adelson, Joseph J., and Robert P. O'Neil. "rowth of Political Ideas in Adolescence: The Sense of Community." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 4 (1966):295-306.

Case, Robbie. Intellectual Development: Birth to Adulthood. New York:Academic Press, 1985.

Elkind, David. "Strategic Interactions in Early Adolescence." In Joseph J. Adelson ed., Handbook of Adolescent Psychology. New York: Wiley, 1980.

Fiske, Susan T., and Shelly E. Taylor. Social Cognition, 2nd edition. New York: McGraw Hill, 1991.

Flavell, John H. Cognitive Development, 2nd edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1985.

Flavell, John H., and Patricia H. Miller. "Social Cognition." In William Damon ed., Handbook of Child Psychology, 5th edition, Vol. 2: Cognition, Perception, and Language, edited by Deanna Kuhn and Robert S. Siegler. New York: Wiley, 1998.

Kohlberg, Lawrence. "Moral Stages and Moralization: The Cognitive-Developmental Approach." In Thomas Lickona ed., Moral Development and Behavior: Theory, Research, and Social Issues. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1976.

Livesley, William J., and Dennis B. Bromley. Person Perception in Childhood and Adolescence. London: Wiley, 1973.

Nisbett, Richard E., and Lee Ross. Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgment. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980.

Michael D. Berzonsky

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 7Social Cognition - Developmental Changes In Social-cognitive Reasoning, Conclusion - Reasoning within Different Social Domains