A Blueprint for Social Cognitive Development

Kristina R. Olson, Carol S. Dweck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The field of social cognitive development (SCD) has historically failed to emerge as a dominant approach in developmental psychology. We take this opportunity to articulate the assumptions, goals, and contributions of SCD with the aim of invigorating research from this perspective. We begin by describing the current landscape of social and cognitive development, suggesting what they have and have not given us. We then outline major goals of the social cognitive developmental approach and walk through examples of successful SCD research. Finally, we examine the unique potential of the social cognitive approach to cross-fertilize social and cognitive development (as well as related fields such as social psychology and neuroscience) and to answer new questions about development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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