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Published by: cyberchris on Jun 17, 2009
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What is Metacognition 1
Running Head: WHAT IS METACOGNITION?What is Metacognition?Christina AndradeFielding Graduate UniversityPSY725: Advanced Topics in Cognitive & Affective Bases of BehaviorLee Stadtlander, PhDOctober 2006
What is Metacognition 2
What is Metacognition?Everyday, tons of information just pop up in front of us. Emails, ReallySimple Syndication (RSS), Newsgroups, website articles, and other mediumof information enter in our brain or it is discarded by it. Therefore, how doyou know that you know? How do you know that you have studied somematerial well enough that you will remember about it next week? Activitiessuch as planning how to advance in given task, monitoring comprehension,and evaluating progress toward the completion of a task are metacognitivein nature. Hence, Metacognitionis the ability to evaluate or monitor your owncognitive process, such as thoughts and memories, with the aim of assessyour current knowledge about something and plan about future actions.Berardi-Coletta, Buyer, Dominowski, and Rellinger (1995) describedmetacognition as: “…an active, reflective process that is explicitly and exclusivelydirected at one's own cognitive activity. It involves the self-monitoring,self-evaluating, and self-regulating of ongoing tasks. We mightcompare this to an on-line executive processor that can observe,check, and alter routines (problem-solving strategies) already inprogress” (p. 206).Research on metacognition in cognitive sciences emerged around1970s with John Flavell and colleagues investigating children's knowledge of their own cognitions. They haveinvestigated children's knowledge about our
What is Metacognition 3
most basic mental states-desires, percepts, beliefs, knowledge, thoughts,intentions, feelings, and so on. The researchers attempted to find out whatchildren know about the existence and behavior of the states of the mindand also what children know about how mental states affects the perceptualinputs, behavioral outputs, and other mental states (Flavell, 1999).Therefore, based on extensive research Flavell (1983) explained “What ismetacognition? It has usually been broadly and rather loosely defined as anyknowledge or cognitive activity that takes as its object, or regulates, anyaspect of any cognitive enterprise (e.g., Flavell, 1981A); it is, again,"cognition about cognition" (p. 6).According to Flavell (1983, 1999), metacognition consists of bothmetacognitive knowledge and metacognitive experiences. Metacognitiveknowledge refers to acquired declarative and procedural knowledge aboutcognitive processes and can be used to monitor cognitive processes. “It isthe knowledge and beliefs, accumulated through experience and stored inlong-term memory, that concern, not politics or football or electronics orneedlepoint or some other domain, but the human mind and its doings” (Flavell, 1983, p. 7). For example, knowing that you have poor memory,youwill use an aid such as shopping list to remind you what you need to buyin the supermarket. Metacognitive experiences “…are cognitive or affectiveexperiences that pertain to a cognitive enterprise, such as the sudden feelingthat you do not understand something you just read” (Flavell, 1983, p. 7).

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