How do we form impressions of people and groups and use these representations to guide our actions? From its inception, social neuroscience has sought to illuminate such complex forms of social cognition, and recently these efforts have been invigorated by the use of computational modeling. Computational modeling provides a framework for delineating specific processes underlying social cognition and relating them to neural activity and behavior. We provide a primer on the computational modeling approach and describe how it has been used to elucidate psychological and neural mechanisms of impression formation, social learning, moral decision making, and intergroup bias.
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