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September 2008 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Metacognition is the first textbook to focus on people's extraordinary ability to evaluate and control their cognitive processes. This comprehensive text covers both theoretical and empirical metacognitive research in educational, developmental, cognitive and applied psychology.

Authors John Dunlosky and Janet Metcalfe address many of the key questions that have inspired scientists to pursue research in this domain. To answer these and many other questions, the authors assess major theoretical themes and programmatic research in the field. The authors also include chapters that define the scope of metacognition and cover its historical origins. Not only do they describe well-received theories about the nature of metacognition, but they also highlight unresolved mysteries currently on the cutting-edge of research.

Key Features

  • Emphasizes the practical relevance of theory and research in metacognition to learning with the use of "Application" boxes
  • Introduces students to important questions that have yet to be answered by the metacognitive research literature with the inclusion of "Mystery" boxes
  • Provides three easy-to-conduct demonstrations (e.g., tip-of-the-tongue experience, delayed-judgment-of-learning effect, etc.) that students can try themselves
  • Offers brief biographies that introduce students to some of the most influential leaders in metacognition
  • Includes a general summary at the end of each chapte

Intended Audience

This text is an ideal resource for undergraduate cognitive psychology students. It also serves as comprehensive handbook for more advanced students and psychological scientists engaged in the study of metacognitive processes.

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. History
Comte's Paradox and Turn-of-the-20th-Century Introspection

Some Shortcomings of Introspectionism

The Cognitive Renaissance

The Return of Introspection and the Rise of the Metacognitive School of Psychology

SECTION 1: Basic Metacognitive Judgments
Chapter 3. Methods and Analyses
Metamemory: Measures and Questions

Metamemory: Collecting, Analyzing, and Interpreting Data

Overview of the Remaining Chapters on Basic Metacognitive Judgments

Chapter 4. Feelings of Knowing and Tip-of-the-Tongue States
Theories About Feeling-of-Knowing Judgments

Tip-of-the-Tongue States

Brain Bases of FOK States

Functions of Feelings of Knowing

Chapter 5. Judgments of Learning
Do All Monitoring Judgments Tap the Same Information?

Variables Influencing JOL Accuracy

Theories About Judgments of Learning

Function of Judgments of Learning

Chapter 6. Confidence Judgments
Factors Influencing RC Accuracy

Theories About Retrospective Confidence

Function of Retrospective Judgments

Chapter 7. Source Judgments
Factors That Influence Source-Monitoring Accuracy

The Source-Monitoring Framework

Breakdowns of Source and Reality Monitoring

Brain Bases of Source-Monitoring Judgments

SECTION 2: Applications
Chapter 8. Law and Eyewitness Accuracy
Confidence and False Memories

Does Witness Confidence Matter to Jurors?


Hindsight Bias

Chapter 9. Education
General Models of Student Self-Regulated Learning

Student Metacognition in Specific Domains

SECTION 3: Life-Span Development
Chapter 10. Childhood Development
Development of Theory of Mind

Development of Metamemory

Relationship Between ToM and Metamemory

Chapter 11. Older Adulthood
What Do Older Adults Believe About Memory?

Aging and Memory Monitoring

Aging and Control of Learning and Retrieval

About the Authors

This is a thorough, and at times demanding, account of issues in metacognitive research. Not suited to an undergraduate readership, it would be an effective resource for postgraduate students or teachers with a developed interest in metacognition.

Dr Louise Campbell
Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University
May 4, 2018

Excellent book that explains a difficult concept (Metacognition) very clearly. Good book as a reference for students

Mr Noel Brick
School of Psychology, Ulster University
October 5, 2015

A useful and insightful text for anyone interested in the study of learning awareness.
Theoretical models and framework provides some stimulating debate and provokes cognitive conceptual challenges. Readers may choose to work through the book from front to back, but would also find it effective in going straight to chapters of interest.
Recommended as an essential text for Psychology and Educational researchers

Mrs Irene Foster
School of Health, McTimoney College of Chiropractic
January 15, 2014

Aspects of this book will be useful to students on the psychology of learning and teaching module. The section on applications of theory to practice is particulalry welcome.

Dr Helen Stivaros
Psychology , Gloucestershire University
February 28, 2012

The content of the book seems high level for my undergraduate students who take "Self-regulated learning" course.

Dr Gonul Kurt
Education, Yeditepe University
January 24, 2012

This book will be very useful for our level 7 students

Mrs Jane Wood
Vocational Education , Edge Hill University
November 19, 2009

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