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date: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes research on interpersonal cognition—cognitive, affective, and motivational processes directed at or shaped by close others. The authors adopt a goal-based perspective on interpersonal cognition, assuming that interpersonal cognition serves, at the broadest level, to help individuals fulfill their need to belong to social relationships. The main tasks of interpersonal cognition are divided into those targeted at seeking, understanding, and maintaining relationships. The “Seeking Relationships” section describes research on attraction and on how fundamental processes are shaped by the desire to form relationships with others. The “Understanding Others” section describes research on how individuals perceive and judge others and how individual differences can shape these processes. The “Maintaining Relationships” section describes research on everyday interdependence (the effects of just being interdependent with others on the self) and strategic maintenance (the goals individuals pursue to protect important relationships).

Keywords: relationships, interpersonal, goals, interdependence, self, motivation, attraction

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