Social Cognition: Age 7–11

As children grow up, they improve in their use of social cognition, or experiential knowledge and understanding of society and the rules of social behavior. Children's use of social inferences, or assumptions about the nature of social relationships, processes, and others' feelings, also improves. Peer relationships play a major role in fine‐tuning social cognition in school‐age children. Members of a peer‐group are typically of the same race and socioeconomic status; many peer group members live in neighborhoods that are ethnically undiversified. Noncompetitive activities among peers, such as group projects in school, help children to develop quality relationships. Competitive activities, such as team sports, help school‐age children to discover athletic talents as well as how to manage conflicts. Thus, older children learn about trust, honesty, and how to have rewarding social relationships when they interact with their peers. Eventually, a teenager's social cognition comes to fruition as long‐term relationships based on trust are formed. Throughout these experiences, older children come to grips with the world as a social environment with regulations. In time, these children become better at predicting socially appropriate and workable behaviors.