• Summary
  • Overview
  • Key Readings

All human interactions are conditioned on social cognition and, in turn, influence social cognition: it is a core field in social psychology, and now it also overlaps social neuroscience, social and cognitive development, behavioural economics, health psychology, diversity science, and more. This four-volume collection brings together some of the most influential and important articles to have come out of the field over the past decades, as well as taking in modern developments which reflect just how vital the subject still is today.

Volume One: Basic Concepts in Social Cognition

Volume Two: Topics in Social Cognition: Self, Attributions, Heuristics, and Inferences

Volume Three: Topics in Social Cognition: Cognitive Approaches to Attitudes, Stereotyping and Prejudice

Volume Four: Beyond Cognition: Affect and Behaviour

Introduction to Volume I: Basic Concepts in Social Cognition

Life depends on social cognition, and social cognition depends on life. We are social beings who require other humans, in order to survive and thrive (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Fiske, in press). Our belonging with other people means we strive to understand them and share our understandings of reality. We strive also to predict and control at least some contingencies between what we do and what we get from other people. Together with basic needs to sustain self-esteem and social trust, these motives underlie our obsession with making sense of other people (Fiske & Taylor, 2013).

People – ourselves and others – make challenging puzzles because people originate actions, unlike other complex objects and gadgets, so we ...

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