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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on social cognitive constructs that emphasize self–other constructions in emerging adulthood. The authors first take up classic social cognitive stage theories, including the development of perspective-taking, interpersonal understanding, and interpersonal negotiation strategies and the development of self-understanding. They note that the upper boundary of structural stage development stretches well into emerging adulthood: the period from 18 to 25 sees a mélange of social cognitive developmental capacities with significant overlap across stages. The authors then introduce individuation and dyadic attachment as new categories of social cognition. Both constructs describe the recalibration of self–other perspectives that will be crucial for navigating the challenges of emerging adulthood. They conclude with an examination of recent neuroscience research on the social cognitive brain, with a particular focus on perspective-taking and mentalizing, and they draw implications for future research.

Keywords: emerging adulthood, social cognitive development, perspective-taking, interpersonal understanding, interpersonal negotiation, individuation

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