The Relationship between Social and Cognitive Development

The Relationship between Social and Cognitive Development

The Relationship between Social and Cognitive Development

The Relationship between Social and Cognitive Development

Excerpt

The primary purpose of this volume is to stimulate further thinking and research on the interrelationships between social, emotional, and cognitive development. The chapters in the volume were initially presented at the 10th Annual Symposium of the Jean Piaget Society and later modified in the light of various discussions that took place at the symposium itself.

In choosing a theme for the symposium, the Board of Directors of the Jean Piaget Society sought a topic area of both contemporary and long-range significance to the field of developmental psychology. As the field of social cognition emerged in the late 1960s it was primarily dominated by attempts to apply Piaget's cognitive theory to the developing child's reasoning about social phenomena such as the self, social roles, and relations between people. At the time both the conceptual issues and research methods appeared relatively clearly defined.

As investigations in this field continued into the middle and late 1970s however, it became increasingly evident that the relation between cognitive and social development was not as straightforward as originally suggested. New problems began to be posed, such as the issue of whether special processes are required for the understanding of social events as distinct from those required for the understanding of physical events. With these problems came also critiques of the adequacy of early research methods, and proposals for new methods, such as those involving contextual analyses of social phenomena. Finally, it became more obvious that any adequate treatment of the relations between cognitive and social development must include considerations of the role played by affective or emotional processes.

It was within this historical context that the Piaget Society chose to focus on . . .

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