Types[ edit ] In their initial research, Tversky and Kahneman proposed three heuristics—availability, representativeness, and anchoring and adjustment. Subsequent work has identified many more. Heuristics that underlie judgment are called "judgment heuristics". Another type, called "evaluation heuristics", are used to judge the desirability of possible choices.
Historical development[ edit ] Social cognition came to prominence with the rise of cognitive psychology in the late s and early s and is now the dominant model and approach in mainstream social psychology.
A focus on how these cognitive elements are processed is often employed.
Social cognition therefore applies and extends many themes, theories, and paradigms from cognitive psychology that can be identified in reasoning representativeness heuristicbase rate fallacy and confirmation biasattention automaticity and priming and memory schemas, primacy and recency.
It is likely that social psychology has always had a more cognitive than general psychology approach, as it traditionally discussed internal mental states such as beliefs and desires when mainstream psychology was dominated by behaviorism.
Social schemas[ edit ] Social schema theory builds on and uses terminology from schema theory in cognitive psychology, which describes how ideas or " concepts " are represented in the brain and how they are categorized.
According to this view, when we see or think of a concept a mental representation or schema is "activated" bringing to mind other information which is linked to the original concept by association.
This activation often happens unconsciously. As a result of activating such schemas, judgements are formed which go beyond the information actually available, since many of the associations the schema evokes extend outside the given information.
This may influence social cognition and behaviour regardless of whether these judgements are accurate or not. For example, if an individual is introduced as a teacher, then a "teacher schema" may be activated.
Subsequently, we might associate this person with wisdom or authority, or past experiences of teachers that we remember and consider important. When a schema is more accessible it can be more quickly activated and used in a particular situation.
Two cognitive processes that increase accessibility of schemas are salience and priming. Salience is the degree to which a particular social object stands out relative to other social objects in a situation. The higher the salience of an object the more likely that schemas for that object will be made accessible.
For example, watching a scary movie late at night might increase the accessibility of frightening schemas, increasing the likelihood that a person will perceive shadows and background noises as potential threats.
Social cognition researchers are interested in how new information is integrated into pre-established schemas, especially when the information contrasts with the existing schema.
Pre-established schemas tend to guide attention to new information, as people selectively attend to information that is consistent with the schema and ignore information that is inconsistent.
This is referred to as a confirmation bias. Sometimes inconsistent information is sub-categorized and stored away as a special case, leaving the original schema intact without any alterations.
This is referred to as subtyping. Social cognition researchers are also interested in the regulation of activated schemas. It is believed that the situational activation of schemas is automatic, meaning that it is outside individual conscious control. For example, one study interviewed a Scottish settler and a Bantu herdsman from Swaziland and compared their schemas about cattle.
The Bantu herdsmen was able to distinguish his cattle from dozens of others, while the Scottish settler was not. Cultural influences have been found to shape some of the basic ways in which people automatically perceive and think about their environment.
Confucianism and Buddhism versus the Greek philosophical traditions i. In this study, the Eastern holistic thinking style and focus on the overall context was attributed to the busier nature of the Japanese physical environment.
More recent neuropsychological studies have shown that brain injuries disrupt social cognitive processes. For example, damage to the frontal lobes can affect emotional responses to social stimuli    and performance on theory of mind tasks.
Parents with posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD show disturbances in at least one aspect of social cognition: The development of social cognitive processes in infants and children has also been researched extensively see developmental psychology.
For example, it has been suggested that some aspects of psychological processes that promote social behavior such as facial recognition may be innate. Consistent with this, very young babies recognize and selectively respond to social stimuli such as the voice, face and scent of their mother.Role identity theory concerns the differences in perceptions and actions that accompany a role, and roles are social positions that carry expectations for behavior and action (Jain, George, & Maltarich, ).
Social cognition is the encoding, storage, retrieval, and processing of information about members of the same species; from a human perspective, it is simply the ability to think about and understand others. A heuristic is a mental shortcut that allows people to solve problems and make judgments quickly and efficiently.
These rule-of-thumb strategies shorten decision-making time and allow people to function without constantly stopping to think about their next course of action. Social cognition is "a sub-topic of social psychology that focuses on how people process, store, and apply information about other people and social situations.
It focuses on the role that cognitive processes play in social interactions." More technically. Decision Making Heuristics. Heuristics are general decision making strategies people use that are based on little information, yet very often correct; heuristics are mental short cuts that reduce the cognitive burden associated with decision making (Shah & .
Review, differentiate, and give examples of some important cognitive heuristics that influence social judgment. Summarize and give examples of the importance of social cognition in everyday life.