Development of Meta-Representations: Procedural Metacognition and the Relationship to Theory of Mind


  •  Emanuel Feurer    
  •  Raluca Sassu    
  •  Patricia Cimeli    
  •  Claudia M. Roebers    

Abstract

In several studies it was shown that metacognitive ability is crucial for children and their success in school. Much less is known about the emergence of that ability and its relationship to other meta-representations like Theory of Mind competencies. In the past years, a growing literature has suggested that metacognition and Theory of Mind could theoretically be assumed to belong to the same developmental concept. Since then only a few studies showed empirically evidence that metacognition and Theory of Mind are related. But these studies focused on declarative metacognitive knowledge rather than on procedural metacognitive monitoring like in the present study: N = 159 children were first tested shortly before making the transition to school (aged between 5 1/2 and 7 1/2 years) and one year later at the end of their first grade. Analyses suggest that there is in fact a significant relation between early metacognitive monitoring skills (procedural metacognition) and later Theory of Mind competencies. Notably, language seems to play a crucial role in this relationship. Thus our results bring new insights in the research field of the development of meta-representation and support the view that metacognition and Theory of Mind are indeed interrelated, but the precise mechanisms yet remain unclear.


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