Meta-Cognition and Social Cognition

Meta-cognition describes the phenomenon in which an individual thinks about his or her own thoughts. Meta-cognition affects various aspects of interpersonal behaviors. It influences social judgment through the magnification or reversal of outcomes relating to primary cognition. The magnification, attenuation or reversal of an individual’s primary thoughts depends on the perception of the level of validity of the thoughts. This results from meta-cognitive knowledge, monitoring and control, which are the three main forms of meta-cognitive thoughts. Meta-cognitive thoughts influence an individual’s beliefs or theories relating to interpersonal behaviors (Brin%u0303ol & DeMarree, 2012). Meta-cognitive monitoring influences the way one evaluates his or her cognition. This includes aspects such as the perception of the validity of thoughts. Meta-cognitive control concerns the regulation or modification of an individual’s cognition. This includes aspects such as change of judgment and behavior depending on the modification of thoughts. Furthermore, meta-cognition influences an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors among other things. These aspects are all crucial in the analysis of human social behavior.

Social cognition concerns people’s thoughts, perceptions and remembrance of information about other people. It entails aspects such as attribution and assumptions on reality. Attribution concerns an individual’s overview on own behavior or the behavior of other people. Attributions may be internal or external. Internal attributions relate to traits such as an individual’s personality, character or disposition. On the other hand, external attribution considers situational elements within interpersonal behaviors. Influences on attribution cause biases that affect aspects relating to individuals’ personalities and situations that affect interpersonal behaviors (Kunda, 1999). Self-esteem, an aspect of social cognition, plays a central role in interpersonal behaviors. An individual’s self-esteem incorporates innate traits and situational factors. The way individuals protect their self-esteem affects their interpersonal behavior and perceptions. Assumptions concerning reality influence biases in an individual’s perceptions, stereotypes and memory, which are key elements in interpersonal behaviors.

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