Cognition and Metacognition

 In Blog, OracleRadio

Episode 26: Cognition and Metacognition with Guest Host Kojo aired on August 21, 2010

[audio:|titles=Cognition and Metacognition with Guest Host Kojo – Aug 21,2010]

OracleRadio LogoEpisode 26: Cognition and Metacognition with Guest Host Kojo
This OracleRadio show focused on the understanding of self in contrast to society, and how individuals process information. Cognition by definition is the psychological result of perception, learning, and reasoning – it is the scientific term for “the process of thought”. Metacognition is the act of thinking about thinking – it is the awareness individuals have of their own mental processes, and the subsequent ability to monitor, regulate, and direct themselves to a desired end. Students often demonstrate metacognition if they can articulate what strategies they used to read and understand text.

Greater Society

Although Cognition and Metacognition are often viewed from an educational perspective people experience these phenomena continuously everyday in their lives. Ask yourself, do I worry too much? Am I giving too much attention or focus to a given situation, group of people, or person? Am I a repeat offender – falling into the same traps again and again? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then you may be a repetitive thinker. While repetitive thinking is not necessarily a bad thing, it becomes problematic when problem-solving is taken out of the equation. The person who allows their thoughts to dictate actions more often than not engage and interact ineffectively. On the topic of Cognition and Metacognition, the host and guest host examined personal development and traumatic experiences to determine the root causes of why we pay attention to things or people that keep us from moving forward in life.

As a child in school, we were taught how to think. Our focus and solution was problem-solving. But as a adults we quite possibly have abandoned the learned ability to problem-solve in patterns. In essence, we as adults are bombarded with the balancing act of work and life. This in itself may be the cause for our shortcomings. It is a known fact, that in a given day we are processing too much information to effectively solve life’s problems. With all of that said, we still can’t stop thinking or processing information to bring positive outcomes. Face it, some things we master, and other things we don’t.

Memory Lane – By Minnie Riperton

I stumbled on this photograph
It kinda made me laugh
It took me way back
Back down memory lane
I see the happiness… I see the pain
Where am I… back down memory lane

I see us standing there
Such a happy happy pair
Love beyond compare
look-a-there look-a-there
The way you held me… no one could tell me
That love would die… why oh why

Objects and Triggers

At times we are presented with things or people that can preoccupy our mind and signal the act of questioning our entire existence. This occurs quite often as people experience traumatic experiences. Divorce, abusive relationships, co-dependencies are self destructive. The questions or thoughts that are generated from negative experiences are usually born out of fear, anxiety, or disappointment. In the song Memory Lane, the lyrics express the experience of being in love then finding disappointment. It is a classic case of western metaphysical dualism, the good and the bad, love and hate. The outcome of the disappointment never goes away. In this case, the artist stumbled upon a photograph that brought back memories she thought had been forgotten.

Specifically, the artist asks, why? Although this is considered a mild case of thinking about the past too much, people who have had traumatic experiences may endure a lifetime of asking why? Consider the case of a survivor of rape. Although they are considered a survivor, they may examine their ability to function completely in relationships, especially romantic relationships. A child that has experienced physical or emotional abuse may grow into an adult that questions whether or not they are capable of giving or receiving love. The objects or triggers for these individuals may come in the form of gift giving, which is examined or questioned for its underlying meaning.

Significant Experiences

In life, people encounter many significant experiences where their self-worth or esteem is examined. This show highlighted only a few of the many significant life experiences that a person may have in his her lifetime. To address a culturally significant experience, the radio hosts examined a report released by The Schott Foundation which states that only 47% of African American males are graduating from high school. The report stated that half of the states in the U.S. have graduation rates for Black males students below that national average.

On a cultural level, this imposes stress that affect neighborhoods and communities, and the social institutions within them. How do we begin to ensure quality education, and success for students across the board? A gender significant experience revealed that many women typically lose themselves in their relationship with their mate or spouse. The true purpose of any healthy relationship is to become more of who you really are. The union should enhance who you are as a person. However, this is not the case. Why do women do this? What can women do to ensure their growth and maintain their individuality in a relationship? Lastly, the hosts examined the age significant experience of Baby Boomers. Those who have reach retirement age are not leaving the workforce. Why? This phenomena is occurring at greater rates, as the economy experiences a downturn.


There are many occurrences in life that cause us to give too much thought or attention to situations or people. If you are questioning things that are insignificant such as why did I get treated that way, or what did I do to deserve this, then you are a victim of repetitive thinking. Knowing that repetitive thinking can lead to mental illness, it is wise to seek the counsel of a professional to grow and move beyond the negative thinking. If not counsel, then seek out friends or family to help sort out problems. In closing, here are a few take away points to remember:

  1. Stop putting people or situations on a pedestal. When we concentrate on a person or situation, it obtains control over you.
  2. Get closure. If you have endured a bad relationship, seek closure. Remove photos or clothing, or write a letter which expresses your true feelings honestly, then discard of it.
  3. Avoid contact. Go somewhere unfamiliar and experience the new.
  4. Seek out professional counsel or fellowship with friends and family.
  5. Exorcise your new freedom by doing something you never thought you could do; run a marathon.
  6. Stress is 95% of the time self-imposed, and doubt is self-perpetuated. Think positively.
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