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Metacognition


Posted on Aug 2017



Metacognition is an important part of human mental related processes. According to Metcalfe, Janet, and Bennett (407) metacognition is awareness as well as an understanding of an individual's thought processes. Metacognition is what result in thinking among the human beings with an effort of trying to understand things around one's environment. Metacognition helps people to solve particular problems that face their lives, such as droughts, conflicts, inequity and others. The ability of a person to think effectively is something that develops from an early age. The ability of a person to think effectively largely depends on one's cognitive ability. There are those individuals who are slow thinkers, while others are fast thinkers. However, thinking capability can be improved through cognitive learning in the humans (Metcalfe and Bennett 407). Ability to think effectively in life comes as a result of a combination of biological as well as environmental factors. People with high cognitive abilities are more likely to think effectively, compared to those with lower abilities. Cultural and learning environment determines the ability of a person to understand various things in life. For example, a person who is exposed to an environment, where critical thinking is encouraged, tend to think in a more diverse way compared to one who is not brought in an environment, where norms of the society are questioned.

            Metacognition has contributed greatly to people engaging in intense thinking using different approaches (Metcalfe and Bennett 407). Thinking from a different perspective allows a person to approach a particular topic of interest from different approaches. For example, using recognition one can approach the topic of abortion from the perspective of those supporting it and those who are not in support of it. Due to the emergence of critical thinking and the need for coming up with a deeper understanding of various aspects of life, most of the individuals approach various topics from different perspectives. Thinking intensely on a particular subject can be traced back in the days of early philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle. These philosophers in their quest to understand various aspects of life would try to think about a subject from various perspectives to come up with the best option. As a result, throughout the history of man, people have been encouraged to think critically on different subjects that impact on their lives. Thinking intensely over social, economic and political problems has proven to be effective in producing the desired outcomes in life.

            One of the ways in which intense thinking on subjects has been enhanced is through the development of critical thinking. Critical thinking encourages metacognition processes, whereby, one questions various things happening in life critically as well as logically. When looking on a subject, such as the issue of abortion logically, one will have to obtain evidence on various perspectives regarding the topic, such as why it should be allowed or why it should not be allowed.  Hence, through logical reasoning, one can approach a topic of interest from different perspectives so as to have a deeper understanding of it (Grusec and Davidov 689). On the other hand, thinking critically about a topic requires one to look for evidence related to its both negative and positive implications. Therefore, one can approach a concept by looking at the consequences of handling it from different perspectives. It is clear that the concept of metacognition develops largely from learning in life. The way of thinking on a subject is something that is learned from an early age and enhanced as a person becomes an adult. Intense thinking on a subject is encouraged with an objective of ensuring that the best solutions are obtained, or deeper understanding is gained concerning a particular subject. It is only through approaching an issue of interest from a different perspective that one can manage to have deeper comprehension about it. Therefore, the need of enhancing the ability of people to approach problems from different approaches has resulted in metacognition, where thinking processes focus on various aspects of an issue rather than one aspect.

            As a result of approaching topics from various points views or more, thinking has been intensified in several ways. First, thinking has been intensified through allowing people to analyze a topic well, thereby, carrying out deeper research about it. However, it is not possible to achieve a deeper understanding of a topic when only one perspective about it is taken during the thinking process. For example, it is impossible to understand all the concepts related to capital punishment, unless one looks at its benefits and weaknesses. Furthermore, thinking about a topic using different perspective has helped in enhancing the accuracy of coming up with the best solutions that can address various issues facing the society. For example, when one is trying to resolve a problem related to a certain concept, the use of different perspectives, and help in analyzing all the possible courses of actions that can be taken in addressing it. This, in the long run, results in the best solution being employed to address the problem at hand.

            Also, looking at a topic from different viewpoints is critical to ensuring that people understand various schools of thoughts associated with the issue one is trying to gain understanding on (Grusec and Maayan 700). For instance, when it comes to the issue of economic policies, there are different schools of thoughts that advocate for various forms of policies to be adopted by the government so as to attain better economic growth. While trying to understand the best policy to employ in a given economy, thinking from different perspectives help to gain insights concerning these schools of thoughts, hence, managing to analyze them critical to understanding how each and every one of them can help in addressing the economic problem at hand. Thus, using two or more different viewpoints in thinking about a subject is crucial in expanding one's knowledge about the topic.

            Furthermore, intense thinking of a topic from various perspectives allow for one to accept cultural diversity in life (Grusec and Maayan 695). When looking at a subject from different perspectives, one can understand that various cultures have their approach on the topic of interest. For example, when trying to understand the concept of death, looking at this concept from various perspectives, one understands that there is cultural diversity as far as this issue is concerned. People from various cultures perform rituals that are not similar as far as death is concerned. Hence, gaining cultural perspectives on a subject of interest, allow a person to accept diversity as part of metacognition. 

            Additionally, thinking is intensified when a person approaches a topic using different perspectives by enhancing the ability of a person to question the existing knowledge about it, leading to the development of new concepts and ideas associated with a topic. The emergence of new concepts and ideas about a certain social concept is only possible when people try to have awareness and understanding about it using different perspectives. It is through this form of thinking that a person question why one certain thing should be the way they are and not different. In the process, new concepts and ideas that help to explain a topic better are born. 

 Based on the above analysis of how thinking of a particular subject is intensified when one approach it using different viewpoints, then it can be concluded that individuals should embrace thinking from different perspectives, rather than making attempts to understand the same concepts from one perspective. One of the reasons why people should embrace thinking that look at the issue from various viewpoints is that it helps to critically analyze an issue at hand. At the end of the day, the conclusion about the issue being processed end up being based on logic (Metcalfe and Bennett 407). Furthermore, self-consciousness is attained when a person thinks about a particular topic from different perspectives. Self-consciousness cannot be attained when one does not look at an issue from all perspectives. One will only accept what is accepted by the society about a concept, without questioning the logic behind that concept. When one gain deeper understanding of a topic of interest, especially on one that affects the ability of a person to be independent self-consciousness is attained (Metcalfe and Bennett 407).

 Additionally, individuals should embrace thinking from different perspectives as it allows them to accept diversity in the society. One can gain deeper understanding related to why people from various cultures engage in certain ways of doing things in life, which are different from one cultural way of life. Thus, a person ends up accepting diversity as part of human life, thereby embracing it leading to harmony and peace being achieved in a society that people who come from multi-cultural environments. 

 It is crystal clear that embracing thinking that looks at issues from different points of view further the cause of understanding. One of the ways through which thinking from various viewpoints on a topic enhances a person understanding is that it allow for a person to critically analyze a subject. It is only through critical analyses of a topic that one gain deeper understanding about it as new insights are gained, which would not have been possible if the subject at hand was only investigated from one perspective. Also, critical thinking is employed when looking at a topic using different viewpoints. This form of thinking leads rise to logical reasoning; that help a person to question existing knowledge about a subject, and this is what contributes to one enhancing understanding about the issue of interest. Finally, one can enhance understanding of a specific subject through metacognitions that embrace different viewpoint because it allows for new insights and concepts being generated. Looking at an issue from one perspective it is impossible to get ideas and concepts related to it. However, when different viewpoints are utilized, it becomes easier to gain a deeper understanding of a particular subject through new concept as well as idea generation.

 In conclusion, thinking from different perspectives should be embraced as part of metacognition. Individuals thinking and understanding of various life concepts is enhanced through embracing metacognition that looks at issues from different viewpoints.