Social cognition research has deep roots. Social psychology then was dominated by laboratory experiments on cognitive dissonance and consistency theories more generally. Mid-century social psychology had generated many motivational meta-theories and some rational-actor models. Social cognition approaches dispensed with motivation, pushing purely cognitive explanations to their limits. A social-evolutionary approach, based on adaptation to group life, proposed a taxonomy to organize core social motives relevant to social interaction. The Stereotype Content Model reacted to social cognition's narrow focus on process, arguing that content also is predictable. Moving from the interpersonal to the cross-national, ambivalent stereotypes in general serve a broad social function: Income inequality predicts the use of ambivalent stereotypes. Modern social cognition research serves as one among many renovations to what, in dire moments, seemed a collapsing field. Although research in social cognition—and social psychology generally—has long studied intergroup issues, only has inequality itself emerged as a central societal-relevance focus.