Social Cognition Concepts

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Social cognition : how does an individual process social information.

Contextualized social cognition : how the social context affects the individual processing social information.

Shared cognition : how cognition is created in the interaction with others.

Socially shared cognition puts the emphasis “(a) […] on dyads and groups as entities, (b) interaction among persons, (c) coordination and synchrony among interacting persons and (d) development and change” (Thompson, 1998, p.3).

Social facilitation : effect of the presence of others on the performance of behavior. The presence of others enhances well-learned dominant behavior but impairs performance of novel, nondominant behavior. An often cited example is shifting gears in a car. An expert driver will shift gears with extra caution when passengers are in the car, and will succeed to do so. A beginner driver on the other hand, will make the gears grind more in presence of passengers than if he was alone.

Thompson, L. (1998) – A New Look at Social Cognition in Groups. Basic And Applied Social Psychology, 20(1), 3-5.