Disclaimer: English Kinda Thing

The sole purpose of the "English Kinda Thing" is to document my attempts to correct my own mistakes in standard English usage and to share the resources I find. In no way do I attempt to teach nobody English through these blurbs--just as I intend not to teach nobody to be a neurotic and psychotic handicap in Ratology Reloaded or Down with Meds! :-)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Flavell (1987). Speculations about the nature and development of metacognition

Pensive coffee drinker quietly reading the book...
(not yours think-aloud self talker. lol 8-X)
This article is the reason why I landed on the book "Metacognition, motivation, and understanding" and the last one to go through.  Although this book dated back to 1987, it gave me an absolute amount of updates on topics relating to metacogntion.

This article resolved two issues I was pulling my hair off for due to my ignorance and during the time when my cuckoo head wouldn't allow me to touch the literature...

First, the cognition of cognition is called metacognition.   What about affect?  Meta-affect? 8-O Apparently, Flavell had explicated that the concept could be broadened to include anything psychological.

 Second, given the linkage between automaticity and unconsciousness (no need for efforts), with extensive practices, could metacognitive monitoring and regulation reach automaticity? Apparently, it's not a useless question my tangential head entertains only since so postulated Flavell... "researchers may eventually feel compelled to include processes that are not conscious and perhaps not even accessible to consciousness as forms of metacognition or metacognitive-like phenomena."

Flavell, John H. (1987). Speculations about the nature and development of metacognition. In F. E. Weinert & R. Kluwe (Eds.), Metacognition, motivation, and understanding (pp. 21-29). Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

"Metacognition is usually defined as knowledge and cognition about cognitive objects, that is, about anything cognitive.  However, the concept could reasonably be broadened to include anything psychological, rather than just anything cognitive.  For instance, if one has knowledge or cognition about one's own or someone else's emotions or motives, it could be considered metacognitive." (p. 21)

Thank you.  I was gonna start another neologism called "meta-affect."

"Because some metacognitive knowledge and cognitive self-regulatory activity is not very accessible to consciousness, researchers may eventually feel compelled to include processes that are not conscious and perhaps not even accessible to consciousness as forms of metacognition or metacognitive-like phenomena."

Can metacognitive processes reach automaticity?

"Metacognitive knowledge refers to the part of one's acquired world knowledge that has to do with cognitive (or perhaps better, psychological) matters."  (p. 21)

Metacognitive Knowledge (see also Flavell, 1979)

  1. Person variable: About universal, "it is hard to imagine a culture in which people grow up without acquiring any naive psychology; in particular, without developing any intuitions about the way the human mind works." (Theory of mind?)
  2. Task variable
  3. Strategy variables: "In the course of development one learns about cognitive strategies for making cognitive progress (e.g., adding numbers together to get the sum) and about metacognitive strategies for monitoring the cognitive progress (e.g., adding numbers together a few more times to ensure the value of the sum is correct).
"It should be emphasized that person, task, and strategy variables always interact, and that intuitions about their interaction are also acquired."

Intuition is acquired... like learned?  Implicit knowledge?  Interesting.

Metacognitive experiences (see also Flavell, 1979)

"Metacognitive experiences are conscious experiences that are cognitive and affective." (P. 24)

"Metacognitive experiences play a very important role in everyday cognitive lives.  As one grows older one learns how to interpret and respond appropriately to these experience." (p. 24)

"Younger children have more trouble than older children in properly comprehending their own feelings of incomprehension, and in properly appreciating the meaning, significance, and implications of such metacognitive experiences.

Questions, problems and issues

  • "Where does metacognition fit in psychological space?  That is, what other psychological concepts does it relate to and how does it relate to these concepts?" (e.g., executive processes)
  • What types of metacognition are there and what are the foundations or prerequisites of their development?  "Is the acquisition, use, and usefulness of some types of metacognition impeded by information-processing limitation or biases, by lack of relevant experiences in most environment, or by other factors?"
Changes and experiences (p. 25-26)
  1. There might be cognitive-developmental changes that could lead directly to metacognitive acquisition
  2. there could be changes which increase the child's cognitive readiness to profit from experiences that promote metacognitive development
  3. developmental changes might increase the opportunities to experience that could lead to the acquisition of metacognitive development
An individual who can create conscious and explicit representations of the past, present, and the future should be in a better position to make metacognitive process than one who does not.

The role of experiences (p. 26)
  1. Practice makes perfect
  2. Practice things that are not metacognitive in nature but lead to metacognitive development
Metacognition is useful for organisms with the following properties
  1. An abundance of cognition
  2. Thinking is fallible and error-prone; therefore the need for monitoring and regulation (No doubt about it in me)
  3. An intent to communicate, explain and justify thinking to the others and oneself
  4. In order to survive or prosper
  5. Need to make weighty, carefully considered decisions
  6. a need or proclivity for inferring and explaining psychological events in itself and other
"However, none of us has yet come up with deeply insightful, detailed proposals about what metacognition is, how it operates, and how it develops." (p. 28)


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