How good are people as social thinkers

The question “how good people are as social thinkers” has long been an issue in the field of social psychology. With the boost of research and studies, experts and scholars have been in constant pursuit of an accurate or at least most logical and scientific way to understand the social world. As Aronson puts it, a social thinker is a flawed scientist, a brilliant thinker but still with blemishes in his theories, no matter how hard he tries to fit everything into it.

While psychologists and experts conduct researches, experiments and studies, ordinary people only have their everyday experiences and relationships as basis of their social perception. However, their views and way of thinking vary depending on their disposition during the situation. For instance, when they are in a more complex situation, they often use the controlled process. This is to ensure greater accuracy to produce a better result. On the other hand, if the person involved is anxious or not in complete focus, he prefers the automatic process or the thinking that is unconscious, unintentional, involuntary, and effortless (Aronson).

He also uses this process for a situation that has lesser payoff. According to Gilbert (as mentioned by Aronson, 2004), people are programmed to automatically believe everything they hear and see. Although they step back and assess the acceptability of the decision presented to them (controlled processing), their limitations often hinder them from obtaining accuracy. Their memory might sometimes fail them with regards to persons or events, as well as incorrect categorization or different outcome from their expectation that might lead to unsatisfactory results.

A limitation of human being is his restricted capacity to remember. The means of checking by means of controlled processing might still be short or inaccurate due to this. There are instances when all efforts might still be inadequate to provide the much needed information. There might be occasions when logic is still not enough. Above all, the way people view things and other people is unique in each one, and as mentioned above is still somehow dependent on his disposition and sometimes even biases during the situation.