Social cognition is a factor that focuses on how people process, store and implement information concerning social situations and other individuals. It focuses on the role that cognitive processes play in social interactions. It is noted that the perception people have towards others contributes to feelings and interaction with the surrounding world. The heuristic is a mental shortcut that enables people to solve problems and make judgment effectively. The major role of heuristic is to shorten the period people use on decision-making and to allow people to function without hesitating to think about their actions (Greenwald and Mahzarin, 1995). There are two major types of heuristic, availability heuristic and representativeness heuristic. The availability heuristic is described as a mental shortcut that focuses on immediate ideas that come to a person mind. For example, when people encounter a situation such as an accident and they are triggered to be cautious since they think the same might happen to them (Moustakas, 54). Availability Heuristic usually results in errors and misconceptions. Representativeness heuristic is a type of heuristic utilized by people to make a judgment. This applies in an example where one can get a description of a certain person and they judge their characters with it.A schema is a cognitive concept that enables people to categorize and interpret information presented to them. Schemas are effective since they allow people to interpret detailed information usually available in the environment. Schemas can cause people to exclude important information and focus on things that are based on the existing viewpoint and ideas. A schema usually contributes to stereotyping and this makes it difficult for people to retain information that is not conventional to the renowned ideas in the world. In conclusion, controlled processing is the thinking that usually occurs voluntarily and intentionally. This occurs when an individual experiences a situation they have ever experienced in the past. Automatic processing is non-conscious and it has effortless thoughts. This is because when individuals encounter a situation they have experienced before it is easier to analyze. Cognitive dissonance describes the discomfort feeling that results from holding different conflicting beliefs. In this case, a change in beliefs and behaviors is required to minimize the dissonance (Brehm, Jack, and Arthur, 65).
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