Individualistic accounts of social cognition primarily focus on individual subjects’ mental representations in thinking about and interacting with other people. These accounts implicitly sterilize the environments in which we think and act with other people. They presuppose that situational contexts are neutral and do not significantly influence social cognition and interaction. In contrast, collectivist accounts focus on these environments, sometimes to the exclusion of an individual subject’s mental representations. Although I reject the most radical collectivist claims, individualistic accounts can benefit from considering some phenomena that are more collectivist in spirit.
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