Metacognition comes along with competence

Obs.: this is a refined thought from my personal notes, and was originally published here — https://www.timelesscraft.org/metacognition-along-competence

Photo by Nicolas Hoizey on Unsplash

Metacognition is key to solve the dunning-krueger effect. But the problem with metacognition is that it can’t be developed by itself. If, in first place, you can’t tell what is right from wrong, you won’t be able to see what is poor about your performance.

You can’t develop metacognition without first developing competence. Because if you lack the minimum competence, you would receive feedback and wouldn’t know what to do with it. Thus, feedback or non-feedback would have the same effect.

As Musonius Rufus would say: habits surpasses concepts, but without the right concepts, you are likely to develop the wrong habits. Expertise and metacognition follow the same logic. You can’t help developing virtuosity if you don’t practice consistently; but you can’t properly practice if you can’t recognize what is poor about your performance; and you can’t have such metacognition without the necessary competence.

Then, metacognition comes along with competence. You can’t develop one without the other, but it might be better to aiming for competence and skill acquisition first so you develop metacognition organically, as part of the learning.

Good ways to train yourself:

Quotes

From J. Krueger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it

Overall, participants who received the training packet graded their own tests more accurately than did participants who did not receive the packet (Location 450)

As previously reported, bottom-quartile participants who received training (a) provided less inflated self-assessments and (b) evidenced better metacognitive skills than those who did not receive training. (Location 743)

Forelinks

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Crypto enthusiast and philosophy-head. Into pragmatism, craftsmanship, artistic expression, and lifestyle experimentation.

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Icaro Moro

Crypto enthusiast and philosophy-head. Into pragmatism, craftsmanship, artistic expression, and lifestyle experimentation.