Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroimage. 2005 Dec;28(4):745-56. Epub 2005 Aug 19.

Principles, processes, and puzzles of social cognition: an introduction for the special issue on social cognitive neuroscience.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.


This article introduces the special issue of NeuroImage focused on social cognitive neuroscience. Social psychology has a rich history of making sense of the often paradoxical aspects of social cognition and the social world. This article reviews the principles, processes, and puzzles of social cognition and behavior that have been examined by social psychologists for decades. Five principles of social cognition and behavior are reviewed including: (1) the power of the situation over behavior, (2) blindness for situational influences, (3) social perception and self-perception are constructive processes, (4) blindness for the constructed nature of social and self-perception, and (5) self-processes are social. Four processes of social cognition are reviewed including: (1) cognitive architecture; (2) automaticity and control; (3) motivated reasoning; and (4) accessibility, frames, and expectations. Finally, five areas of social cognition that contain enduring puzzles are described including (1) the self, (2) attitudes, (3) reflective social cognition, (4) automatic social cognition, and (5) social motives. In several of the areas of study reviewed, cognitive neuroscience is well positioned to make important contributions to these research traditions either by allowing for new tests of hypotheses or by allowing for unobtrusive measurement of social cognitive processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center