Metacognition refers to knowledge about our own thoughts and feelings, as well as the cognitive regulation involved in directing a set of activities that will help control learning. Our lab focuses on how people use their metacognition to improve self-awareness and to guide their own learning and behavior.

The experiments conducted in the lab are computer-based cognition, memory, learning, or agency tests designed to empirically study people's abilities to make judgments of their own cognition. Broadly speaking, our lab is focused on exploring a theoretical perspective that proposes people are capable of honing in on their own 'Region of Proximal Learning', and also on the metacognition of agency and feelings of control.

We currently have three ongoing streams of research:

    Interested in us?

    Participate In Experiments
    Cash: Email us
    Credit: Participant Pool

    Lab Meetings

  1. These experiments look at whether we can apply proven cognitive psychological methods, namely, a learning from errors approach, to improve math performance on the Grade 8 Regent's Exam.
  2. The metacognition of agency. This stream of research investigates how we know we are in control of our own actions in the world and our feelings of being in control. More specifically, this might involve looking at whether people prefer to be in control, even at the cost of performance or reward.
  3. Mind wandering and learning. Finally, we are also interested in investigating the conditions under which a person mind wanders and how we might be able to reduce a person's mind wandering to boost learning and memory.


Spring 2019: Masked Singer

Anna Rothschild of The Washington Post interviews Dr. Janet Metcalfe on why "The Masked Singer" is so addictive.

Fall 2018: SOLER Symposium

Dr. Janet Metcalfe leads the Science of Learning Research Initiative (SOLER) Symposium in the Low Memorial Library. Dr. Metcalfe's lecture on Metacognition and Curiosity begins about 7 minutes into the video.

Spring 2018: Graduation

Congratulations to Matti Vuorre and Judy Xu for finishing their PhDs. They gave wonderful public defense presentations on work they've been doing in the last couple of years in the lab. The two of you will be dearly missed! Once again, congratulations both of you, and good luck on your future endeavors!

  Columbia University  |  Psychology Dept   |  Campus Directory  |  Campus Map  |  Building

© Copyright 2018, Department of Psychology, Columbia University.