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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a historical perspective on the methodological trajectory of social cognition. It begins by considering a number of preliminary issues as they bear on the various definitions of social cognition, with special consideration of how methodological issues figure prominently in those definitions. The chapter next considers the various desiderata in methodology, highlighting cases in which these issues are particularly germane to social cognition. This is followed by discussion of the circumstances surrounding the rise and fall in popularity of some prominent methodological paradigms in the field, including a number of important methodological issues surrounding the emergence of dual-process models. The final section considers some recent critiques of the “social cognition approach,” placing them in a larger historical context and discussing how they overlap with a long-running debate about the value of experimental paradigms in social psychology.

Keywords: social cognition, methodology, historical perspective

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