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Metacognition

Definition

Metacognition means “thinking about cognition,” and given that cognition generally refers to the processes of thinking, metacognition means “thinking about thinking.” Metacognitive strategies are what people use to manage and understand their own thinking processes. Metacognition refers to knowledge about cognitive processes (“I'm bad at names”), monitoring of cognitive processes (“I'll remember that equation”), and control of cognitive processes (“Using flash cards works for me” or “I'll need to spend at least 2 hours studying this”).

Background

People are often in situations in which they are required to evaluate the contents of their memory. When people are approached on a busy street and are asked for directions, how do they know if they know the directions or not? When studying a list of items to be ...

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