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Metacognition and Neuropsychology Synthesis Essay

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Updated: Sep 14th, 2019

In medical psychology, metacognition has become an important area of research. In particular, the relationship between metacognition and some mental disorders is an important field. For instance, Önena, Uğurlub, and Çayköylüb (2013) attempted to determine the relationship between metacognition and insight within the context of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Using a sample of 100 patients with compulsive mental disorder, the researchers found that metacognition scores were higher in people with obsessive disorders and good insight than in people with the disorder and poor insight.

In addition, the study indicates that metacognition is higher in people with obsessive mental disorders than in healthy people. This study indicates that there is a relationship between metacognition and insight. In this relationship, higher scores of metacognition correlate with insight.

Rogers, Jacoby and Sommers (2012) studied metacognition within the context of aging in humans. Using older adults and younger individuals, the researchers focused on false hearing and its frequency. The study found that older adults have a greater ability to benefit, but this affects their response consistently.

Hegarty, Smallman and Tull (2012), did a unique study that sought to explain metacognition based on geospatial displays. The aim was to examine the impacts of design on metacognition and performance.

Geospatial displays (weather maps) were used to determine judgment in undergraduate students and meteorologists. The findings indicate that meteorologists are slower and less accurate than students with complex than with simple weather maps.

According to Harder and Folke (2012), studies in metacognition show that ‘affect regulation’ plays an important role in social and mental interactive attention. The study reviewed recent and past research work. From the article, studies have shown that metacognition plays an important role in enhancing adaptive functioning. In this context, studies have shown that a vulnerability-stress model exists in humans.

Psychotic symptoms appear when the severity of stressors is more than a person’s vulnerability thresholds. A number of studies have also shown that the vulnerability-stress phenomenon is associated with human genomics. In fact, a study by Foster and Sahakyan (2012) has shown that vulnerability threshold is of genetic origin. However, vulnerability increases or reduces in response to stimuli.

For instance, it increases when an individual is exposed to trauma, causing the emergence of psychosis. In addition, trauma can lead to an individual’s sensitization to stress that is involved in the process of developing psychotic symptoms.

Although there is little information about the precise mechanism involved in the alteration of an individual’s response to stress in psychosis, recent evidence show that neuropsychological changes occur as a result of childhood abuse, causing psychotic symptoms.

Dansereau, Knight, and Flynn (2013), Human judgment and decision making are closely related to metacognition. These researchers have shown that poor Human judgment and decision making cause a number of problematic behaviors, especially in adolescents. Psychosis has been linked with a number of problematic behaviors in children and adolescents.

The ability of adolescents to make decisions is affected by psychosis, which indicates the need to study metacognition in order to determine how adolescents with problematic behaviors think and make decisions (Rogers, Jacoby, & Sommers, 2012).

A number of studies have also attempted to determine the link between metacognition and dementia. For instance, Thomas, Lee and Balota (2013) carried out a research to determine the role of metacognitive monitoring and dementia in adults. They investigated metamemorial monitoring in younger adults, older adults with dementia and older adults without dementia.

Young adults, older adults without dementia and those with the condition use intrinsic and extrinsic factors effectively in guiding their judgments (Foster & Sahakyan, 2012).

This study shows that metacognition may be partially impaired in dementia, but the individuals continue to use general knowledge or theory-based processing in making metamemorial monitoring predictions. According to these researchers, metamemory is the higher-order cognitive process that plays an important role in memory function.

Other studies have attempted to determine the relationship between metacognition and a number of other mental diseases or conditions. For instance, Perona-Garcel´an, Garc´ıa-Montes, Ductor-Recuerda, Vallina-Fern´andez et al., (2012) attempted to describe the relationship between metacognition, depersonalization and absorption in individuals with schizophrenia.

The study found that schizophrenic individuals with hallucinations have a high degree of depersonalization and absorption. In addition, these individuals have dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs due to their psychiatric pathology. Such studies seem to suggest that metacognition is associated with positive psychology, absorption and depersonalization (Tullis, Finley & Benjamin, 2012).

A study by Hamm, Renard, Fogley, Leonhardt and others (2012) attempted to describe metacognition in schizophrenic patients. In particular, it describes the relationship between schizophrenia and deficits in the ability to form complex representations about self and others.

In addition, investigates the stability of these deficits over time in schizophrenic individuals. Using 49 adults with schizophrenia as a study sample, the researchers have shown that metacognitive deficits are stable in schizophrenia and other related symptoms.

In addition, brain injury affects metacognition in humans. A study by Braga, Rossi, Moretto, da Silva and others (2012) indicates that acquired brain injury affects social mediation, metacognition and cooperative learning in adolescents. Such individuals show evidence of affected social relationship, which can be managed with interventions based on cooperative learning (Hegarty, Smallman & Stull, 2012).

In conclusion, studies have shown that mental diseases, brain injury and other conditions affecting the brain have an impact on metacognition (Foster, & Sahakyan, 2012). However, the precise mechanisms through which these conditions affect metacognition are not well-understood.


Braga, L. W., Rossi, L., Moretto, A. L., da Silva, J. M., et al. (2012). Empowering preadolescents with ABI through metacognition: Preliminary results of a randomized clinical trial. NeuroRehabilitation, 30(3), 205-212.

Dansereau, D. F., Knight, D. K., & Flynn, P. M. (2013). Improving Adolescent Judgment and Decision Making. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 44(4), 274–282

Foster, N. L., & Sahakyan, L. (2012). Metacognition influences item-method directed forgetting. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 38(5), 1309.

Hamm, J. A., Renard, S. B., Fogley, R. L., Leonhardt., et al. (2012). Metacognition and social cognition in schizophrenia: stability and relationship to concurrent and prospective symptom assessments. Journal of clinical psychology, 68(12), 1303-1312.

Harder, S., & Folke, S. (2012). Affect Regulation and Metacognition in Psychotherapy of Psychosis: An Integrative Approach. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 22(4), 330-343.

Hegarty, M., Smallman, H. S., & Stull, A. T. (2012). Choosing and using geospatial displays: Effects of design on performance and metacognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology Applied, 18(1), 1.

Önena, S., Uğurlub, G. K., & Çayköylüb, A. (2013). The relationship between metacognitions and insight in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry 54, 541–548

Perona‐Garcelán, S., García‐Montes, J. M., Ductor‐Recuerda, M. J., Vallina‐Fernández, O., et al. (2012). Relationship of metacognition, absorption, and depersonalization in patients with auditory hallucinations. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51(1), 100-118.

Rogers, C. S., Jacoby, L. L., & Sommers, M. S. (2012). Frequent false hearing by older adults: The role of age differences in metacognition. Psychology and aging, 27(1), 33.

Thomas, A. K., Lee, M., & Balota, D. A. (2013). Metacognitive monitoring and dementia: How intrinsic and extrinsic cues influence judgments of learning in people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychology, 27(4), 452.

Tullis, J. G., Finley, J. R., & Benjamin, A. S. (2012). Metacognition of the testing effect: Guiding learners to predict the benefits of retrieval. Memory & cognition, 1-14.

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