Does anyone know of any research in measuring metacognitive abilities (i.e. metacomprehension, metamemory, meta-emotions(?), etc) in people? In other words, I'm wondering if the same way we have IQ tests (which I know is a whole other topic of debate), if there would be a way to measure "meta-IQ"?

  • $\begingroup$ What initial research have you done on this? What would be "high metacognition" what would be low? Usually if you can't come up with tags for your questions then it is a sign that you haven't framed it well enough by existing knowledge to have a well answerable question. $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2012 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ I think that the definitions of high metacognition vs low metacognition are pretty intuitive. I have done little initial research. (I'm not a cog sci researcher, just a curious individual). And the tags are there: "metacognition" and "measurement"... $\endgroup$
    – Roly
    Aug 26, 2012 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


A good overview on the topic is Metacognition: A Literature Review (E. R. Lai), page 27 has a section assessing the measures of Metacognition.

Flavell (1979) describes assessment tasks that asked children to study a set of items until they were sure they could remember them completely. Children were then tested on their ability to recall all the items.

Another common task was to read a set of written instructions and indicate any omissions, mistakes, or areas of ambiguity. Schneider (2008) observes that the most studied type of procedural metamemory is self-monitoring. Assessments designed to capture this ability include ease of learning judgments, judgments of learning, and feelings of knowing. For example, ease of learning judgments typically ask students to study a set of test materials for a short amount of time and then assess their abilities to remember the material. After the students are tested on the material, their performances are compared to their initial predictions.

Generally assessments focus on one specific area of Metacognition like Metamemory.

See also Development and Validation of an Objective Measure of Metacognition that assess four studies evaluating metacognitive abilities.

Searching around on Google Scholar finds a great deal of studies using and proposing various measures for Metacognition. There's certainly no "standard" like an IQ test, as Metacoginiton: A Literature Review notes, part of the challenge in studying and teaching Metacognitive abilities is due to the lack of focus on them in traditional school curriculum.


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