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Social Cognition

Social Cognition
Understanding People and Events

First Edition

November 2020 | 672 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Social cognition is an approach to understanding how people think about people and events. We are constantly processing information to navigate the world we live in.

The authors will guide your students, using examples and up-to-date studies, through this approach; from explaining the processes themselves right through to demonstrating the role cognitive processes play in our social lives.

With chapters on the following processes:

·       Memory

·       Judgement

·       Attention

·       Attribution

·       Evaluation

·       Automatic processing.

This book will provide your students with a framework for understanding the most common areas of interest for Social Cognition, such as perception, attitudes and stereotyping.


Chapter 1: Processing Social Information: A Conceptual Framework
Chapter 2: Cognitive Representations: Structures of the Mind
Chapter 3: Automatic Processing: Doing More Than We Know
Chapter 4: Attention: The Mind’s Eye Meets the Social World
Chapter 5: Interpretation: Making Meaning
Chapter 6: Evaluation: Judging Good and Bad
Chapter 7: Inference: Going Beyond the Obvious
Chapter 8: Attribution: Understanding Why Things Happen
Chapter 9: Judgment: Reasoning and Decision Making
Chapter 10: Memory: Storage and Retrieval
Chapter 11: The Time Dimension: Understanding the Past, Anticipating the Future
Chapter 12: Social Cognition and Action: Thinking and Doing

This book makes the potentially overwhelming domain of social cognition interesting, accessible and meaningful. Rather than desperately cramming in ideas, like socks into an overpacked suitcase – Hamilton and Stroessner give space to think through with the reader the empirical findings, the ideas, debates and crucially, the relevance of the work covered.  Hamilton and Stroessner provide a thoughtful, meaningful guide to the terrain of social cognition - the book will teach you, providing the detail to answer exactly the questions that often arise when reading about these topics. What is particularly remarkable is that all of this is achieved alongside that rare and precious quality of smooth, intelligent and thoughtful integration of ideas, enabling the reader to see more clearly both the parts and the whole of social cognition.

Paul Dickerson
Principal Teaching Fellow, University of Roehampton

I read this new textbook on Social Cognition because of my long-standing interest in the social cognition literature in social psychology.  I was not disappointed.  The book is not only an excellent text but a scholarly achievement in its own right. The unique structure of the chapters provides an effective structure for coverage that is both comprehensive and comprehendible.  Unlike many texts in this area that read like encyclopedia entries, the organization of this book provides a more narrative structure that facilitates understanding of a wide-ranging and complex research literature. I particularly liked the novel chapter on the Time dimension that covered some fascinating work on perception of time, change across time, and anticipating the future.

Overall, I learned a lot from this book that was new to me and also came to see some familiar research in a new light.

Marilynn Brewer
Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University

David L. Hamilton

David L. Hamilton received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He was on the faculty at Yale University for eight years before moving to the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has published extensively on topics in social perception, including stereotyping, impression formation, person memory, and perceptions of groups. He has served on numerous committees in professional organizations, including the Executive Committees of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and for 25 years was co-organizer of the annual Person Memory Interest Group meetings. He has been... More About Author

Steven J. Stroessner

Steven J. Stroessner is a Professor of Communication at the University of California, Los Angeles. Before this position, he was a Professor of Psychology and an award-winning instructor at Barnard College, Columbia University. He also served as a Senior Research Scientist at Disney Research. His research examines cognitive and motivational aspects of stereotyping and prejudice, and he has published extensively on social categorization and the utilization of stereotypes in judgment. More recently, his research has examined social categorization processes in judgments of non-social entities ranging from shapes to robots. He is a Fellow of... More About Author

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