Social Cognition, Perception, and the Self: A Developmental Perspective

Abstract: This paper is a partial synopsis and critique of Aronson, Wilson, Akert, and Sommers’s (2016) Social Psychology.  Specifically, the chapters on social cognition, social perception, and socially-driven self-knowledge are summarized.  They are then critically reviewed through the lens of developmental psychology using Kegan’s orders of consciousness (1994; 2009).  In attempting to determine how social psychology may contribute to an understanding of human development, it was discovered that the opposite question may be more generative.  Such a question is briefly explored, concluding that advances in both of these young sciences may be at odds with one another.  Finally, in an extrapolation that may be considered extreme, the conflict may one day force social psychologists to question the extent to which laws governing social influence can be considered universal.