Separate Attribution from Social Cognition

Attribution is the process through which we seek to identify the causes of others’ behavior and so gain knowledge of their stable traits and dispositions.  Social cognition is the manner in which we interpret, analyze, remember, and use information about the social world (Baron & Branscombe, 2012).  As I understand, social cognition is our social ability to acquire information, obtain knowledge, and understand people in our social environment.  In our daily life, we apply social cognition methods to understand others and their behavior through attribution process.  Therefore, we cannot separate attribution form social cognition.

I think attribution and social cognition are highly integrated in our brain and mental functions.  Attribution is embedded into social cognition as part of the cognitive functions.  Because these two cannot be separated, scientists often study social cognition together with attribution and other related areas such as social inference, schemas, person memory, and attention and consciousness (Hogg & Cooper, 2007).


Baron, R. A. & Branscombe, N. R. (2012). Social psychology (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Hogg, M. A., & Cooper, J. (2007). The sage handbook of social psychology: Concise student edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

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