Learning About Cognitive Activities

Learning About Cognitive Activities

Reasoning about cognitive activities and epistemic states is important for both social interaction and academic tasks. Developmental changes in children’s understanding of cognition have been documented from early childhood through adolescence, including concepts of attention, memory, inference, and the stream of consciousness, and reasoning about the nature of knowledge and truth. Im fascinated in developmental changes in those concepts and in identifying experiences that inform children’s concepts of cognitive activities.

Consciousness and the Development of Cognitive Monitoring

 

The availability of cues associated with cognitive activity is discussed. Theories of consciousness and metacognition are presented and used to frame consideration of first-person experience as a basis for concepts of cognition. Although conscious access is limited, cues associated with cognitive activity are available to monitoring. However, those cues require interpretation. Introspection, or cognitive monitoring, may inform concepts of cognition, but in turn, knowledge about cognitive functioning may influence the interpretation of cues associated with cognitive activities. The development of cognitive monitoring is discussed, with a focus on studies concerning monitoring of informational content, informational source, feelings of effort and certainty, and emotion. Children’s potential use of cognitive monitoring as a source of information for learning about cognitive activities is considered.

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