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December 19, 2013

Surprising Habits of the World’s Smartest People: Metacognition

Business

Jeff Cochran

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If you’re interested in excelling in your field, it’s a smart idea to learn from the most inspiring, intelligent people in the world. This month, we’re studying some of the habits that are common among the world’s smartest people in order to gain a better understanding of how those habits help them to succeed. For example, brilliant people tend to read, exhibit self-discipline, and set goals.

Metacognition is another common trait of the world’s smartest people. Even if you’ve never heard the term before, you undoubtedly perform some form of metacognition almost every day.

 

What Is Metacognition?

The term “metacognition” simply means your own level of awareness of your knowledge and thought processes. Whenever you reflect on your own thoughts and knowledge base, metacognition allows you to assess your thoughts in order to enhance your cognitive abilities such as inferring, analyzing, and comparing.

Metacognition is an essential part of decision-making and causes us to ask ourselves questions as a part of the decision-making process. By questioning your decisions, you can avoid bad decisions and focus on good ones. However, metacognition is also related to our sense of self, which means that it might lead to bad decision-making if you have a skewed perception of yourself.

 

Why It’s Important

By enhancing their metacognitive abilities, the world’s smartest people are able to increase their ability to learn and make wise decisions. Carefully analyzing situations and complexities allows these brilliant individuals to avoid the massive blunders that can be caused by a lack of self-awareness.

In addition, metacognition is an incredibly valuable tool in learning. With the help of metacognitive skills, you can improve your ability to process information even in areas where you struggle. For example, if science or math is a challenge for you, a metacognitive approach to learning can help you to gain a certain level of comprehension anyway.

 

Using Metacognition to Your Advantage

In order to mimic the habits of highly intelligent people, look for ways to improve your metacognition. Question your decisions and examine your thought processes in order to identify any common fallacies. Use your metacognitive abilities to work on your problem-solving skills whenever you encounter an issue at work.

Above all, consider how you can use metacognition to improve your ability to learn. Even though teachers recognize the importance of metacognition, most individuals are unaware of how greatly metacognition can affect our learning skills. When you need to learn something new, carefully consider the process and question the areas where you are confused. By identifying problem spots, you can use your metacognition to ensure that you fully comprehend the material.

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