Development of social cognition


A Level


5m 50s
“To truly travel is to see the world from someone else’s eyes if even only for a second”. So goes an old Aboriginal proverb. Social cognition is the mental process by which individuals process and understand information relating to themselves and others and by which behaviour is conducted. In this podcast, we study Selman's theory along with the idea of the Theory of Mind, which involves how we understand others’ viewpoints and feelings and has been offered an explanation for autism. Finally, we’ll have a look at how mirror-neurons in the brain may help us to understand others’ behaviour.


Jean Marc Lawton


Development of social cognition - task

  • Listen to the podcast on the development of social cognition and answer the following questions

1] What is meant by social cognition?

2] What are interpersonal dilemmas?

3] Outline Selman’s role-taking theory, making reference to his five stages of development

4] Explain what is meant by Theory of Mind

5] What are false belief tasks?

6] Explain how Theory of Mind is used as an explanation for autism

7] Outline Baron-Cohen’s ‘Sally-Anne’ study; include a conclusion with your answer

8] Explain what mirror neurons are and what their purpose is thought to be

9] What criticisms are there of mirror-neurons?

  • You may find that you need to listen to the podcast more than once to achieve this

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