Has metacognition arrived in popular culture ?


What is Metacognition ?

“Metacognition is the knowledge (i.e. awareness) of one’s cognitive processes and the efficient use of this self-awareness to self-regulate these cognitive processes (e.g. Brown, 1987; Niemi, 2002; Shimamura, 2000). ( Wikipedia entry for “Metacognition”)

Meta cognition can help us understand that there are many different types of thinking tools at our disposal.

Integrative thinking is one of those metacognition thinking tools.

What is Integrative thinking ?

“Integrative Thinking is the ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models, and instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generating a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the individual models, but is superior to each.

When making a decision, people proceed through four steps:

  1. The first step is Salience: what do we choose to pay attention to, and what not? In this initial step, we decide what features are relevant to our decision.
  2. The second step is Causality: how do we make sense of what we see? What sort of relations do we believe exist between the various pieces of the puzzle?
  3. The third step is Architecture, during which an overall mental model is constructed, based on what we have arrived at in the first two steps.
  4. The final step is Resolution: what will our decision be, based on our reasoning?

Integrative thinkers approach these four steps in a very specific way. As shown on the diagram below, in step one they consider more features of the problem as salient to its resolution; they consider multi-directional and non-linear causality between the salient features; they are able to keep the ‘big picture’ in mind while they work on the individual parts of the problem; and they find creative resolutions to the tensions inherent in the problem’s architecture.

Diagram showing the process flow of integrative thinking

Diagram showing the process flow of integrative thinking

(Quote and diagram from Rotman; URL: http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/integrativethinking/definition.htm)

What’s next?

Wikipedia has a page where several types of thinking are documented. Visit it and get familiar with some of the recognized thinking tools you have at your disposal.

Wikipedia: Portal: Thinking

Wikipedia: Entry for “Meta Cognition”

Wikipedia: Entry for either/or thinking (“false dilemma”)

Related in this blog:

Can we have wise innovation?

Types of Thinking

Nonduality and either / or thinking

Explore the category “multispectives” in my blog for related postings.

Bipolar Culture – How either/or thinking affects our societies
Daniel Montano


2 thoughts on “Has metacognition arrived in popular culture ?

  1. Dan,

    Pleased to see this item as I originated tools for learning Integrative Thinking in 1986.

    My hope is also “that by using diverse thinking models we may see a positive change in our world and a move towards more humane societies.”

    We have a very long way to go and need more catalysts to diffuse, refine and implement the concept. For that reason I offer the Integrative Improvement Institutes Project on my website.



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