To approach this topic we have as a first step to develop and define what is cognition and as a second step is how to insert the subject of what is cognition, in what Social Psychology means as a human science that studies the social interrelation, that is, the human manifestation with all the facets, masks, or attitudes of which mankind is capable, to get the approval of the group or in the society where he is located.
For now, imagine a person with all their senses in very good condition, with a healthy situation, then, is young and vigorous; with a stable mental condition and great spiritual strength. Well, this person is an individual of the human race that could be envied, for representing the ideal that anyone wants to aspire, to have psychological and physical qualities or conditions that in our societies is difficult to achieve. Unfortunately, Western society is imbued in a dynamic bristling with difficulties, which limit any natural manifestation of man towards genuine well-being.
The ecological, the insecurity, economic inflation, discrimination of all kinds, violence in general that produce as a whole serious and threatening situations in which the individual has very little chance of reversing. The situation we want to see is to be independent of the physical, mental and spiritual conditions developed by the conglomerate and thus try to achieve a way of life that allows the individual to realize his existence according to the social structure; complement that condition with the knowledge accumulated in terms of the adaptational relationship to a specific environment, generally where you were born and you have become a person.
This knowledge acquired through this interrelation is crystallized by the communication of the subject with everything that directly and indirectly has contact be it material, intellectual or spiritual. Therefore, we speak of knowledge that does not mean or relate only to the academic or systematized education, but with the knowledge of living, making a life with minimal well-being.
We humans always try to get to know the best possible the immediate world that surrounds us, where we develop our daily life, make comparisons with the way of life of others; cognitively create the necessary factors to generate protective shields of any obstacle that could be placed before us in this our daily life. That defense presented is human nature. This is the product of an accepted cognitive level as a norm that we develop through our experiences.
Now, regardless of the academic and systematic learning process that formal education provides, we are permanently learning, from the moment we breathe for the first time until the present moment in our lives. That implies a process of supplying what life gives us, whatever type of life it may be. A priest has living conditions as a priest and lives as a priest. The same thing happens with a criminal. They are life circumstances that influence socially so that the criminal is criminal and lives as such. In this information processing each individual rushes to solve the problems that distress him or that produce discomfort, in that intervenes the judgments, inferences, deductions, categorizations, and evaluations that each person makes about himself and others.
The idea is to understand the others in order to benefit from the understanding oneself in relation to others, which develops with an intersubjective relationship. This is a benefit, because the need to harmonize our desires and concerns with our human environment, means placing ourselves in the “other’s” place, understanding their perspective, taking their point of view into consideration; or understand how the “other” perceives the world around him, therefore, allows us the benefit of coexistence under the peaceful scheme of tolerance, equality, justice, with the security of our existence, but also the existence of the neighbors.
All this tells us that adaptation is the product of a process of knowledge acquisition that in psychology is called cognition. Etymological cognition is derived from the Latin cognize and is translated as knowledge. It is understood as the process of knowing, or the process of thinking and processing information mentally – images, concepts, words, rules, and symbols – we can say that it is a superior mental process of the human being where he knows and understands the world, processes information, makes judgments and takes decisions, describes his knowledge and understands others.
Cognition works through higher cognitive processes such as the biological bases, the reception system, perception, learning, memory, thought, in such a way that they are basic processes of psychology, besides being a set of topics aimed at understanding the fundamentals of mental activity and human behavior.
If we return to the previously described character in which that their biological and psychic circumstances are in constant balance, it means that their cognitive level is well supported by their social interrelation. If this did not happen, that is, if there was a deficit in social cognition, this would be the result of interpersonal difficulties and the deterioration of psychosocial functioning.
Now, how was social cognition inserted as a fundamental element in the area of social psychology, to make this science much more complete in its action of the investigation of social relations, or in its effect, the relationship of the human individual with the other individuals?
We will answer this question by making a short story about the evolutionary process that has had to go through several stages.
In the middle of the last century, that is, the 20th Century, it began an interest in the field of Psychology called Information Processing. From that time on, the information sciences begin to develop through the dizzying use of machine processing. Psychology as a human science could not stay behind and appealed to different fields such as Artificial Intelligence; the Theory of Information, Linguistics, etc. to create a whole set of theoretical knowledge that impacted the promotion of new paradigms that were going to change the face of the scientific field studied.
After a series of investigations, one of the most important contributions was made based on the idea of conceiving the subject as an “information processor” and the nature of a very closely linked, of course, to Information Processing. The whole idea is to consider how a subject collects, interprets and elaborates the information that allows him to generate judgments and contents about people, events, etc. This means the new possibility of knowing how information is organized to create values, beliefs, and attitudes before a particular phenomenon, thing, or person.
The interesting was to take the issue of organizing the foundation of Social Psychology and thus be able to link Information Processing as part of the Science. We consider that with these steps it is sufficient to make the fusion of Social Psychology with Cognitive Psychology, waiting for the result of a theoretical general framework, which assumes the development of the new paradigms as the basis of the study of social behavior in the present-day World.