Metacognition in infants and young children

Beate Sodian, Claudia Thoermer, Susanne Kristen and Hannah Perst

in Foundations of Metacognition

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646739
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745867 | DOI:
Metacognition in infants and young children

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Research on the development of metacognition in children has found first evidence for declarative as well as procedural metacognition around the age of 4 years, related to a beginning of understanding of the representational mind. Recently, based on studies of false belief understanding in infancy, it has been claimed that metarepresentation develops much earlier than was previously thought, in the second year of life. Independently, it has been argued that metacognition should not exclusively be conceived of as metarepresentational, and that the origins of metacognition in infancy may very well be implicit and preconceptual. These two lines of argument are reviewed, followed by a critical search for empirical evidence for metacognition of own ignorance in infancy and some ideas about the social construction of metacognition in language-based interaction of young children with siblings and parents.

Keywords: metacognition; development; infants; children; declarative; procedural; theory of mind; false belief understanding; implicit-explicit

Chapter.  8658 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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