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The metacognition , also known as Theory of mind , is a concept born in the psychology and in other cognition sciences to refer to the ability of human beings to impute certain ideas or objectives to other subjects or even entities .

The concept, although used quite frequently in various scientific fields, is not accepted by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) .

Specialists assume that this ability is connatural (from birth). When a person has metacognition, they are able to understand and think about the state of their own mind and that of third parties. Metacognition also implies the ability to anticipate behavior (own and others) from perceiving emotions and feelings.

Among the most recognized researchers of the theory of the mind, appears the British-American psychologist and anthropologist Gregory Bateson , who began researching these issues in animals. Bateson He warned that dog puppies played fighting and discovered that, by means of signs and signs, they warned if they were facing a simulated fight in the framework of a game or facing a real confrontation.

In humans, metacognition begins to activate between three and four years old. There is talk of activation since it is a capacity that is found from the moment of birth, but is put into operation through a certain stimulation that is appropriate in this regard. At the end of the stage as an infant, the person constantly uses metacognition, even unconsciously.

When metacognition is not developed, different pathologies can arise. There are those who believe that the autism It originates from a problem of the theory of the mind. It should be noted that there are different evaluations to check how metacognition is implemented in the mind of an individual.

Theories about metacognition

Many specialists have defined this concept, including Yael Abramovicz Rosenblatt who said that metacognition is the way in which people learn to reason and apply the thought to the way of acting and learning from the environment, for which constant reflection is used, in order to ensure a good execution of desires or thoughts; Sergio Barrón is the ability we have to transcend and re-use the knowledge acquired and for Daniel Ocaña, it is a macroprocess that is characterized by a capacity for consciousness (controlled voluntarily) that allows managing all cognitive processes, from The simple to the complex.

Anyway, it is believed that the first who spoke about this concept was J. H. Flavell, specialist in cognitive psychology , which expressed that it was the way in which cognitive processes were understood and the results to which a person could arrive through them.

From the point of view of constructivism We can say that the brain is not considered as a mere receiver of information, but that it is built on the basis of experience and knowledge, and orders the information in the way it knows how to do it. In other words, learning is exclusively related to the person and his story, so that the learning he develops will be highly influenced by those experiences he has lived and by his way of understanding and interpreting knowledge.

Learn to learn

In the education There is talk of metacognition to refer to the learning processes that are proposed through educational systems. Using the abilities of each student to learn and understand their environment, a learning curriculum is proposed that adapts to them, that takes advantage of them and collaborates with a more efficient education. Be part of the skills, competencies and handling of emotions that the student has to help him acquire knowledge in the best way in which he can apprehend them.

We can say to finish that through metacognition we can understand and self-regulate our learning, planning the way we will learn and evaluating our actions in said situation learning . Thus we could define metacognition with three concepts related to knowledge: awareness, control and nature .

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