Metacognition – Metacognition definition, what is metacognition
Metacognition – Metacognition definition, what is metacognition
In schools they want us to memorize a huge amount of information, but in those same schools they have forgotten to tell us how to do it. People usually have a bad idea of how to learn effectively and quickly, whether or not they are subject to many so-called cognitive distortions in their learning.
A classic example of cognitive distortion is the Dunning-Krůger effect, which you may have heard of. A series of experiments showed that students who did not perform well at solving logical problems overestimated their skills. They felt that they solved the tasks very well, that they were among the best.
The Dunning-Krůger effect is just one of the many cognitive distortions that we subject to learning. We often think we can do something even if we can’t. Or we feel that we are learning the best possible method of learning, although this is not true.
The article you are reading contains one really easy trick to learn more quickly and efficiently that they should have told us about at school.
I am not one of those who will be exciting, we will talk about metacognition (it will be defined below). Basically, it’s nothing but thinking about how you are learning.
All too often, students learn on the fly, without any strategy and plan, yet they are subject to the cognitive distortions mentioned. Metacognition discards your pink glasses, allowing you to get a glimpse of your learning. And if you do this, you will be able to use better learning methods, the right resources to study and choose the best possible strategies. Learning will no longer be thoughtless and inefficient, but strategic and effective.
In the following paragraphs I will define metacognition, then I will tell you how metacognition improved Stanford students’ grades, and finally you will learn to use metacognition in practice in learning.
If you want to learn more about fast and effective learning methods, check out my e-book How to Learn Effectively, Not Only at School . It summarizes the most effective ways of effective study I have come across in almost 5 years of blogging.
What is a metacognition?
I am not a psychologist, nor do I study psychology, and therefore it makes no sense to burden you with a definition full of unknown words that I would not understand. Metacognition is simply thinking about how we think and how we learn.
Metacognition allows students to discover the gaps between what they can and should do. A student who is good at metacognition knows when and how to use different learning methods. Metacognition is also related to setting learning objectives. Plans to achieve these goals and continually evaluate how you approach those goals.
When you think about it, learning requires you to make constant choices, whether what you learn, how you learn, how you discover that you can do it, etc. The better you are in the metacognition, the better you will learn.
Although I present myself as an effective learning guru on the site, I am not holy and I still learn from time to time using ineffective learning methods. Fortunately, I am used to regular metacognition (thinking about my thinking and learning). The metacognition allowed me to retreat, gain insight and discover my learning mistakes. I found myself repeating inefficiently, and yet to do at the wrong time.
You can learn more about me HERE or check out youtube.
I believe that a metacognition can also help you. Actually, I don’t believe it, but I know because the correct application of metacognition has also helped Stanford students improve their twos to ones without learning any longer. But before you know how to do this, you need to know what to watch out for in a metacognition.
Frequent cognitive distortions in learning
Metacognition is an ability like any other. If you start, it will not stand out in it. The ultimate foundation is to be aware that we are often subject to various distortions in our learning. We feel we understand something, even if we don’t really understand it so well. Or we think we remember something great, but it’s not really built into memory.
Remember and always note that we are naturally far too self-confident about learning issues. Be skeptical about what your head suggests (eg you can do this really well).
A frequent negative cognitive distortion to which brains are subjected in learning is the so-called hindsight problem , also called: I knew the effect. Let’s say you’re trying out something, but you can’t remember. Once you see the answer, you think you knew it (I knew the effect), and therefore you do not spend any time repeating it. As a result, I knew the effect of underestimating the situation, and you could burn out on that question.
To think that you did something doesn’t mean you really did! Believe in objective facts. I.e. you didn’t remember, which means you don’t know it and you should spend some time studying.
No less frequent cognitive distortion is the so-called foresight bias . The point is that once we learn something, we feel like we can do it forever.
In one experiment, students were asked to remember words, then asked how many they would remember in an hour, a week and a month. In their estimates, they assumed they would remember about the same amount of vocabulary per hour, week, or month. But, as the forgetting curve shows , it’s stupid! After all, in just one day of learning we forget at least 60% of the information, but unfortunately our head does not realize. Take this into consideration in your metacognitive efforts!
The Illusion of Knowledge – an article in which I write about other cognitive distortions that shake our head while learning. To be really good at metacognition, you should know the distortion. I also offer solutions to prevent this.
How did the metacognition help Stanford students?
When I first saw the experiment I describe to you, I knew I had to write an article about it. His results were too miraculous not to tell you about them. Today, after two years, I finally made it.?
Stanford University students of statistics were divided into two groups, as is usual in scientific experiments. The first group of students received an e-mail before the exam, alerting them that they were approaching the exam and should be ready. The second group was tasked with completing a short metacognitive questionnaire.
The questionnaire contained a few questions and it only took a few minutes to complete. Students were asked questions to reflect on what resources they would learn for the exam (eg, textbooks, lecture notes, primate materials, etc.) and how to learn from the materials. The short questionnaire also looked at how much they wanted the mark and how much importance they attached to it.
A group of students who were encouraged to metacognition (thinking about their learning, setting goals) performed much better at the exam! On average, students attending metacognition had a 0.33 point better score. Students from the group who were only notified by e-mail on the exam had an average of B, but students completing the metacognitive questionnaire received A.
Scientists have sent 2 questionnaires to some students, forcing students to think about how they learn. These students were still successful. In other words, the more metacognition, the better.
Not only did students in the metacognitive group achieve better results, they also used the available resources more efficiently. Students practicing metacognition showed less negative emotions in connection with the upcoming exam. In addition, they felt more control over their performance.
Too often we act automatically, do something, and don’t even think about why we do it that way. Metacognition will turn off our automatic mode, allowing us to think about what steps need to be taken to learn the best we can.
Being good at metacognition means, among other things, knowing enough about how to learn effectively and quickly. In the book How to Effectively Learn Not Only at School, I write about the best and most effective learning methods I have come across so far.
How to Metacognition?
The easiest thing to do is to imitate Stanford students from the experiment. Before the exam, ask yourself what your goal is and how much you care about it. Then think about what learning materials you have and how you can learn to be as effective as possible.
If you want to take it to a slightly higher level, read on. The principle is always the same, stopping, not functioning as a slot machine and thinking a bit strategically.
Metacognition should be done not only before the exams, but also during the year. I think it is no problem to find 5 minutes to answer these questions after school:
On a scale of 1 to 4, evaluate how you understood what was discussed at school?
What should I remember from today? What were the main ideas?
What topics seemed difficult to understand today and what will you do to understand them?
Only with these few questions will you become more aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Perform the following metacognitive exercises before the exam:
What is my goal and how much I care about it?
What will be on the test / exam / test?
In what areas do I bother, which is not so good?
How much time should I spend learning and how do I divide the time?
Do I have all the necessary materials to study?
What learning methods will I use? Which are the most appropriate in this situation?
What grade would I get if the test was right now?
The questions will kick you in and give you lots of useful ideas on how to learn better and what to look for in your studies.
The Metacognition is not over now. The prerogative of all successful is that they can learn from their mistakes, do not climb twice into the same river. If I regularly learn from my mistakes, you will become monsters!
After the test, ask:
What did I not know how I made mistakes?
Was there any surprises on the test?
What could I do differently?
Next time you avoid mistakes and learn a little better again.
I hope you liked the article and I believe you will start using metacognition. The results are surprisingly amazing. We often do something, but we don’t really know why we do it. Metacognition allows us to stop and question our established patterns of behavior.