Abstract and Keywords
Social cognition is often defined as an approach rather than as a content subfield of social psychology. This chapter defines each, argues that social cognition is both, and describes how the various chapters in this Handbook reflect these two facets. The first two parts, together, represent the core content of social cognition. Part One of the Handbook provides a historical perspective, with special emphasis on various content areas that contributed to its early development, including the core fields of impression formation and person perception. Part Two includes chapters on cognitive representation and process, and on various stages of information processing. The remainder of the Handbook represents social cognition as an approach. Part Three chapters describe how social cognition has contributed to other areas of social psychology, especially those involving motivation and the self. Then, Part Four illustrates synergies between social cognition and more distant fields such as evolutionary psychology, law and health.
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