Age differences in social cognition between adolescents and young adults were investigated. Two large groups of adolescents and young adults were given tasks of theory of mind and emotion recognition. In addition, to control for possibly related basic cognitive development, working memory, speed of processing, and verbal ability were assessed. A strong age effect was revealed across both measures of social cognition. Adolescents performed with a lower accuracy than adults. Further analyses indicated that those age differences remained significant even after controlling for basic cognitive abilities. Exploratory analyses indicated no influence of pubertal phase on social cognition. Results suggest ongoing development of social cognition across adolescence, independent of individual differences in more basic cognitive abilities.
- social cognition
- basic cognitive abilities