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Thinking About Thinking…

What is metacognition? Metacognition is the practice of analyzing one’s mental processes in order to examine how a person obtains and retains information. Evidently, this practice helps the individual perform on thought intensive activities such as testing or playing a sport or game. The issue I have with this process is that, even when giving thought to what I may be expected to know and answer, I must also put in the effort to study the material that I believe will be on the examination in question. Despite the results of the Stanford study, listed in Ratner’s article, I do not believe that the fifteen minute survey given to the metacognitive students was responsible for their increased test grades. As a student, I believe I retain and remember what I found important to me, and it is quite difficult to force the importance of a topic upon myself. Unfortunately, I cannot see myself thinking about thinking during my learning activities. On the other hand, I can definitely see myself envisioning success when putting for eagle on the dog-leg par five back home.

The Dunning-Kruger effect did, however, pique my interest. When I was younger, I used to ask my sister nonsense questions about imaginary species of bears and anything else I assumed she would lie about. This action was quite rude of me, but it did exemplify the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. She wanted to seem knowledgeable when I posed her with a question; therefore, she always lied and claimed she knew exactly what I was talking about and that they had covered it in school. Do not confuse me, I am almost even more guilty of claiming fake knowledge. I learned from experience at a young age that any statement, delivered with confidence, can usually pass for the truth. As I grew older, I did learn that this practice of faking intelligence grows harder because people might actually call you out on the false claims that have been made. Thankfully, I have not embarrassed myself on late night television.