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Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making$
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Peter Hammerstein and Jeffrey R. Stevens

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262018081

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.001.0001

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The Cognitive Underpinnings of Social Behavior

The Cognitive Underpinnings of Social Behavior

Selectivity in Social Cognition

Chapter:
(p.275) 16 The Cognitive Underpinnings of Social Behavior
Source:
Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making
Author(s):

Thomas Mussweiler

Andrew R. Todd

Jan Crusius

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.003.0016

To navigate their social worlds successfully, humans must coordinate their own behavior with the behaviors of others. Because human behavior takes place in a complex social world, it imposes high demand on cognitive capacity. Yet the cognitive resources available to humans to meet this demand are relatively limited. Selectivity is a crucial element in social cognition. Only through informational selection are humans able to make decisions that are simultaneously adaptive and efficient. This chapter reviews evidence from social cognition research which demonstrates that humans are selective in the social information they attend to, the manner in which they process this information, and the behaviors they ultimately enact. This selectivity in social attention, social thinking, and social behavior is an adaptive tool that helps humans successfully maneuver through their complex social worlds.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, decision making, social behaviors, social cognition, social information, social thinking

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