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Concept Of Metamemory

In recent decades the concept of metamemory has been the topic of considerable attention in a variety of neighboring domains of psychological research and practice. The range of both the substantive interests and the theoretical perspectives of the researchers is notable, for they span numerous "disciplines" of the psychological sciences. Five such disciplines are briefly noted here. First, cognitive psychologists have examined metacognition as bridging and reflecting such processes as self-monitoring, decision making, learning and memory, motivation, plans and strategies, and cognitive development (see Metcalfe and Shimamura). Second, neuropsychologists have examined metacognition as it bridges cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and clinical neuropsychology. For example, researchers may be concerned with metacognitive impairment (e.g., anosognosia, or unawareness or denial of memory problems or disease) that has occurred as a function of brain injury, dementia, or normal aging-related neurological changes (e.g., Prigatano and Schacter).

Third, some social and personality psychologists have contributed the perspective that metamemory operates in conjunction with, rather than in isolation from, personality and social cognitive processes. For example, researchers may examine the effects of self-concept, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and sense of mastery or control on cognitive performance in children and also in adults (e.g., Cavanaugh). Fourth, child developmental and educational psychologists have examined metamemory as it relates to the growth or improvement of basic cognitive skills in children (e.g., Kuhn). An important pedagogical concern is when and how children learn and apply strategies that improve their learning performance in school and other settings. Fifth, life span developmental psychologists have examined metamemory development in adulthood. The focus has been on multidimensional views of metamemory, how metamemory per se develops in adulthood, and whether metamemory failures may be related to some aging-related declines in memory performance (Dixon; Hertzog and Hultsch).

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