Anoetic, noetic, and autonoetic metacognition

Janet Metcalfe and Lisa K. Son

in Foundations of Metacognition

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646739
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745867 | DOI:
Anoetic, noetic, and autonoetic metacognition

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In the past, metacognition has been defined very broadly. On the one hand it has been referred to as an implicit process, where awareness need not be involved. On the other hand — the stronger and more interesting sense — metacognitive processes have been used synonymously with introspection, consciousness, and self-reflection. In this chapter, we categorize the large range of existing metacognitive processes into three formal levels: anoetic metacognition, noetic metacognition, and autonoetic metacognition. Judgements that are bound to the current time, or made in the presence of stimuli, are classified as anoetic. Judgements that refer to or relate to internal representations, and are made in the absence of external stimuli, are classified as noetic. But only autonoetic metacognition requires the individual to make judgements about internal representations, and in addition have awareness that the self is intimately involved. While we can clearly distinguish between the three levels of metacognition, we continue to ponder two questions: first, is there a way to show that a nonhuman animal, or even a machine like Watson, can — autonoetically — reflect? Second, is a judgement without such self-reflection metacognition at all?

Keywords: metacognition; anoetic; noetic; autonoetic; consciousness; higher-order thought; self-awareness; self-reference; source judgments; knowledge judgments

Chapter.  8350 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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