Social psychology; chapter 3 - social cognition social cognition - how people think about themselves and the social world; more specifically, how people select, interpret, remember and use social information to make judgements and decisions. Need to distinguish between 2 different types of cognition - automatic and controlled thinking. People typically size up a new situation very quickly: they figure out who is there, what is happening and what might happen next. We do these things by engaging in an automatic analysis of our environments, based on our past experiences and knowledge of the world. Automatic thinking - thought that is non-conscious, unintentional, involuntary and effortless. People as everyday theorists: automatic thinking with schemas. Automatic thinking helps us understand new situations by relating them to our prior experiences. Given a label, we fill in the blanks with all kinds of schema-consistent information.