On Metacognition

Metacognition is thinking about your own thinking. It’s the ability to have an internal dialogue and analyze your own thought process. I have named it the personal landscape, in my work. Mediated by the frontal lobes, metacognition is a measure of executive functioning, perhaps the highest measure. People who demonstrate high metacognition talk about and analyze their own thought process. A simple example of meta behavior is: ‘I need to give myself a reminder or put this on my calendar, or I won’t hold myself accountable.’  People with high metacognition are often conscientious and successful entrepreneurs, students, and employees. They leverage self-awareness. They watch an internal movie of their personal cognition: thoughts, feelings, and observations, that’s on replay.

Another interesting example:
The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, which is the experience of attempting to retrieve from memory a specific name, memory, or word but not being able to do so. Usually, the name or word is eventually retrieved, but while one is trying, it seems to hover tantalizingly on the rim of consciousness. Metacognition is knowing what you know, and also knowing what you don’t know, simultaneously.

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