Ch. 8: complex cognitive processes
Metacognition: knowledge about our own thinking processes. Higher order, used to
monitor and regulate cognitive processes (reasoning, comprehension etc.) Involves three
types of knowledge:
1) Declarative the factors that influence your learning (what to do)
2) Procedural how to use strategies
3) Conditional knowing when and why to apply the procedures
Three skills that allow us to do this:
Most useful when tasks are challenging, but not too difficult. These processes may be
automatic. Abilities develop around 57. Two questions helped: what did you learn about
yourself as a reader/writer today? And What did you learn that you can do again and
Learning Strategies and Tactics: ideas for accomplishing learning goals. Learning
tactics are the specific techniques that make up the plan. Important principles: exposure
to different strategies, taught conditional knowledge about when and where to use certain
strategies, develop the desire to use these skills, direct instruction in schematic
Decide what is important, use summaries, underlining and highlighting (use sparingly)
To ensure that students apply learning strategies: make task appropriate, encourage
valuing of learning, students must believe the effort is worth it given the return, and they
must have selfefficacy for using strategies.
Visual Organizing Tools: Identify main ideas, understand the organization. Creating
maps or charts can be more effective than outlining. Cmaps (concept maps using
Problem Solving and Problem solving strategies: a problem has an initial state, a goal
and a path. Often need to make subgoals, and problems can be ill and well structured.
Problem solving is defined as formulating new answers, going beyond the simple
application of previously learned rules to achieve a goal. Debate regarding problem
solving: some think that strategies are domain specific and others believe they are
Identify problems* representation is really important
Define goals (focusing attention, understanding words, understanding whole prob.)
Anticipate outcomes and Act
Your interpretation of a problem is the translation (translate into a schema you get)
Schema driven problem solving: recognizing a problem as a disguised version of an old
problem for which one already has a solution.
Algorithm: step by step procedure for solving a problem. Applying them unsystematically
can indicate formal operational thinking is underdeveloped.
Heuristic: general strategy that might lead to the right answer Meansend analysis: problem is divided into a number of intermediate goal or subgoals
and then a means of solving each intermediate subgoal is figured out.
Working backward strategy: heuristic in which one starts with the goal and moves
backward to solve the problem
Analogical thinking: limit the search for solutions to situations that are similar
Factors that hinder problem solving: fixation (inability to use objects/tools in a new way)
response set (tendency to response in the most familiar way) Problems with heuristics:
representative heuristics (judging the likelihood of an event based on how well the events
match your prototypes) or by invoking stereotypes, availability heuristic (believing that
easily memorable events are common) belief perseverance (tendency to hold on to our
beliefs, even in the face of contradictory info) confirmation bias (tendency to search for
information that confirms our ideas and beliefs).
What do experts do? Insight, intuition, conditionaction schemas, domain knowledge
Creativity: the ability to produce work that is original but still appropriate and useful.
Sources include domain relevant skills, creativity relevant processes, and intrinsic task
Restructuring a problem usually results in a sudden insight after a period of incubation
where the problem is set aside for a while.