Moscovici Award session: Agency and Communion as Basic Dimensions of Social Cognition: The Dual-Perspective Model (DPM)

Wednesday 5 July
19.30 - 20.20 h.
García Lorca


Andrea E. Abele Brehm
Social Psychologists. Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen. Nürnberg, Germany.

Bogdan Wojciszke
University of Social Sciences and Humanities. Warsaw, Poland.


We start with a short review of dual-content formulations in personality and social psychology. We show that there is a substantial overlap between these distinctions and propose agency and communion as the concepts capturing the common thread of these distinctions. We then present the Dual-Perspective Model (DPM) assuming that the defining feature of human interaction is the presence of two perspectives – that of an agent (the person who performs an action) and the of a recipient (the person at whom the action is directed and who experiences the action consequences). Agentic and communal dimensions of content are so universal because they reflect these two ubiquitous perspectives. We summarize a large body of research showing that: (1) the communal content is primary in social cognition, (2) perception of others is dominated by communion over agency, and (3) self-perception is dominated by agency over communion. We then show new applications of DPM in the area of asymmetrical social relations (power, status, wealth). We conclude that DPM has both explanatory and predictive power and may contribute to a more integrated and general theorizing in psychology.