Talk:Social cognition

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What about references? I don't like phrases such as "studies have shown" (2x) without a footnote or reference to say *which* Jutta 16:05, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I agreeFannyMay (talk) 18:27, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I have some references that I can add, and will do so.Finereach (talk) 21:57, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Hopefully both of these "studies have shown" sections should now be fixed.Finereach (talk) 21:18, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi, I'm going to do some work on this page, particularly relating to the social cognitive neuroscience part. I did a bit of (non-original, and not so non-original) researh on the cognitive neuroscience of social cognition about eight years ago at University. As a new wikipedian please feel free to point out if I am making any formatting mistakes... or errors of fact, neutrality, etc.Finereach (talk) 21:57, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Welcome to wikipedia! As someone who's familiar with that research but hasn't gotten around to improving the article much, I think the edits look great. In the future, you might try using the templates Template:Cite book and Template:Cite journal for your references. justinfr (talk/contribs) 23:09, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
justinfr, thanks for the tips - now done.Finereach (talk) 22:40, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

'cognitive psychology' references desirable[edit]

Most of the references here are related to cognitive neuroscience. It would be desirable to include also references from cognitive psychology at a less basic level, so that this article reflects both the micro (cognitive neuroscience) and macro (cognitive psychology) dimensions. --Nabeth (talk) 22:58, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

I have made some edits which I have been considering for a while; not sure if these answer your question though. Very happy to have these checked / edited... My bachelor degree was Experimental Psychology but that was ten years ago, although I have done some directed reading around Social Cognition since working on this article. Finereach (talk) 21:54, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Low- and high-effort thinking[edit]

Definitions of low-effort thinking and high-effort thinking would be a valuable addition to this article. Or perhaps they should be in a separate article? —Ringbang (talk) 22:15, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi Ringbang. There is already some wikipedia coverage of research along these lines. It can be found here. Cheers Andrew (talk) 01:58, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Or have a look at Dual process theory which shares might relate to your question as well Arnoutf (talk) 12:56, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, gentleman. Should any Wikipedia article name and define these terms explicitly? Ringbang (talk) 02:05, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi Ringbang. I am not a subject matter expert with regard to 'high and low effort thinking', but it does seem possible that the terms are approximate synonyms for other terms already used in the field of psychology. Creating an article around this particular terminology may create some unfortunate wiki-redundancy. At the first instance I would therefore explore whether it is more appropriate to integrate the terms into existing articles. Cheers and I hope that helps Andrew (talk) 01:23, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Mirror neurons[edit]

Hi all. Just moving a discussion about the proposed addition of a number of paragraphs covering 'mirror neurons' from over on my talk page (Crparker3 and Colmande started the discussion here and here). As background, I originally reverted the addition with the following rationale:

Relevance unclear and possible undue weight; it reads as reliable and encyclopedic, but how is it related to social cognition? And which social cognition (see lead)? Are there more apt destination articles?

The request has been made that I elaborate a bit more on my concerns, so I will do that here. In terms of the clarity of relevance then, I think there is some critical info missing here.​ For one, it isn't clear to me which social cognition the content is relevant to. I know it is awkward, but this article spans three different but closely related topics. To my mind it is therefore necessary to be specific and connect this content to one of these explicitly. Without doing this the content runs the risk of misleading readers. I could try and do this myself, but in all honesty I don't know the answer. Perhaps this issue could be remedied with some more specificity in general. That is, while the added content proposes "mirror neurons and their related systems as a possible neurological basis for social cognition", I don't think this gives a clear enough picture of the relationship. Is there some detail that can be added here? Perhaps some examples that we could use? Without that elaboration I think a reader, and in particular a lay reader, will simply find the content to be confusing and distracting. Does this resonate with others?

Presuming the connection between mirror neurons and social cognition can be made clear, there is also the undue weight concern I mentioned. In providing exposition on this, I think it is first worth remembering that Wikipedia is unique in that it is a richly, and almost infinitely, connected network of subject articles, each a click away from one another. This makes writing for Wikipedia very different from writing for other notionally comparable works (e.g. traditional encyclopedias and text books). In particular, it means that the coverage of any particular topic does not need to be as all encompassing or fine grained. Articles can rely on the content of cousin articles to provide detail while they instead remain focused on the key points or core relationships. In the case of a 'social cognition' article then, this means that the article can focus on explaining the characteristics of that field of research without needing to include all the content of that research. To my mind, that's what the proposed addition represents. That is, the study of mirror neurons is but one example of research presently underway in social cognition; research that receives substantial coverage in a range of other Wikipedia articles (including one dedicated article and at least 40 other mentions and article sub-sections). Now, it's of course fine to include it in the article as a relevant example, but what that example adds to our encyclopedic understanding of the field of 'social cognition' should be made clear (see my above point about relevance). This is especially true if we are going to justify the inclusion of specific studies, findings, and methodologies. Hence the question in my edit summary about other possible destination articles. In other words, are some of these details better covered elsewhere in Wikipedia where such details are more obviously germane.

Anyway, I hope that makes my own feelings about the proposed addition clear. And again, what do other editors think? Cheers Andrew (talk) 11:55, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Citations and Minor Edits[edit]


As a few other Wikipedians have mentioned, there are multiple sources of information throughout the article that are missing citations. Citations should follow the sentences that provide definitions, refer to journal articles, or elaborate on theories pertaining to social psychology. It is important to include said citations to credit the proper authors and to provide future readers of this page a place of reference for those interested in exploring the original source further. Additionally, it is important to take a neutral approach and provide knowledge that is supported by research. A few sections read as though they are more a matter of opinion than evidence-based. I have made some minor grammatical edits that should help clarify certain points made in the historical development section. Cimone.safilian (talk) 00:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)


What is the rationale for using the generally unfamiliar term "conspecifics" instead of "other people" in the opening sentence? If the article addressed the social cognition of other species, there would be some reason to use a more general term, but the entire discussion here is focused on human interaction and understanding. (Even then, I think a more familiar term would better serve most readers without sacrificing clarity or accuracy.)

I applaud the author for providing a short definition of "conspecifics" within the text, something that all too many Wikipedia entries fail to do. But it's unclear to me how the term contributes to the definition. It seems rather a distraction in an otherwise clear and concise article.

This is admittedly a minor point. But as the word appears in the first sentence, it runs the risk of confusing—or, at minimum, distracting—the reader at the outset and thereby detracting from the entry's usefulness. KC 06:59, 22 December 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boydstra (talkcontribs)

Language and Structure[edit]

Hi, I notice that on the top of this page, it says "This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. Please help improve the article to make it understandable to non-experts, without removing the technical details. The talk page may contain suggestions. (September 2010)". So I am trying to read through it, and see if I can change it a little bit so that it can be easier to be understood by most readers. Also, I'll try my best to not to remove any technical details. But please tell me if you find that I accidently remove any important content, or make any mistake, I'll fix it. Thank you very much. Also, I'll see if I can add any subheadings which I think might be helpful for the structure. If you have any concern about that, tell me about it, too. Wolfviolet (talk) 04:21, 19 April 2016 (UTC)