The Importance of Origins: Why Cognitive Development is Central to a Mature Understanding of Social Cognition
Y. Dunham2, K.R. Olson1, *
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2008
First Page: 59
Last Page: 65
Publisher Id: TOPSYJ-1-59
Article History:Received Date: 18/04/2008
Revision Received Date: 27/06/2008
Acceptance Date: 15/07/2008
Electronic publication date: 6/8/2008
Collection year: 2008
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The overwhelming majority of work in social cognition has focused on adults, what can be called end-state social cognition. We argue that development (and especially cognitive development) can provide a theoretical and methodological tool to advance the study of social cognition. Developmental psychology can offer unique insight into the origin of end-state processes, providing insight into how they develop from simpler components and thus serving as constraints to theoretical models of end-state social cognition. We provide examples of 1) areas where existing developmental research offers potential insight into our understanding of adult processes, 2) areas where new developmental research can directly address theoretical debates in social cognition, and 3) a case study of one successful, extant bridge between development and social cognition. Finally, we comment more generally on both the promise and potential pitfalls of an integrated social- developmental approach to social cognition.