Shedding metacognitive light on reasoning research

Authored by: Rakefet Ackerman , Valerie A. Thompson

The Routledge International Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138849303
eBook ISBN: 9781315725697
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, we argue that understanding the processes that underlie reasoning, problem solving, and decision-making 1 can be informed by understanding the metacognitive processes that monitor and control them. Our goal is to show that a metacognitive analysis applies to a wide range of reasoning tasks and theoretical perspectives, including Dual Process Theories, Mental Models Theory (Johnson-Laird & Byrne, 1991), Fast and Frugal Heuristics (e.g., Gigerenzer, Todd, & the ABC Group, 1999), probabilistic models of reasoning (Oaksford & Chater, 2007), and a wide variety of problem-solving paradigms. We hope that the range of examples that we provide will allow the reader to usefully extend these principles even further, to theories of analogy, induction, causal inference, and so on.

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