Thinking Is for Doing: Portraits of Social Cognition From Daguerreotype to Laserphoto

Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

355 Scopus citations


From the outset, perspectives on social cognition have taken an emphatically pragmatic stance, as evident in early writing by James, Allport, Bruner, Asch, Heider, Tagiuri, and Jones. After a hiatus, during which social cognition research neglected its proper attunement to social behavior, researchers again are emphasizing that thinking is for doing, that social understanding operates in the service of social interaction. Early and recent (but not intermediate) theories have reflected a pragmatic orientation in 3 recurring themes: People are good-enough social perceivers; people construct meaning through traits, stereotypes, and stories; and people's thinking strategies depend on their goals. The pragmatic viewpoint again opens up new areas for research and theory in social cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-889
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Thinking Is for Doing: Portraits of Social Cognition From Daguerreotype to Laserphoto'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this