Metacognitive Monitoring and Control in Distributed Cognition



Today we experience an ongoing expansion of the range of available information, advanced communication technologies, and an increase in multitasking. This has resulted in a distributed nature of cognitive activity, where external resources, devices and other people are involved. That’s why the development of metacognitive knowledge and strategies is crucial for effective usage of one’s own cognitive abilities, as well as cultural and technological advances. In this review we analyze and describe the specifics of metacognitive monitoring and control in the context of distributed cognition. First of all, we consider different approaches to explaining how metacognitive judgments are formed, we then analyze empirical studies of the involvement of metacognitive judgments in regulation of cognitive performance. The article emphasizes the importance of metacognitive experiences and judgments in prevention and correction of cognitive errors, searching for and integrating information from external sources, and making joint decisions. It has been shown that metacognitive experiences and judgments based on them play a crucial role in building representations of one’s own competence when solving the problem. Metacognitive experiences are also involved in regulating the search for information, initiating cognitive offloading and seeking help from others. They also play an important role in the formation of epistemic trust in other people and accepting their advices, improving effectiveness through social verification of knowledge, and are used as heuristic in joint decisions making

General Information

Keywords: metacognition, metacognitive experience, distributed cognition, cognitive offloading, explore-exploit trade-off, epistemic trust, confidence heuristic

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology of Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant no. 22-28-01456 “The role of metacognitive experiences in the process of intra- and intersubjective monitoring of errors in making intuitive judgments”.

Received: 20.04.2023


For citation: Metacognitive Monitoring and Control in Distributed Cognition. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2023. Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 324–346. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2023.303. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Ackerman, R. (2014). The diminishing criterion model for metacognitive regulation of time investment. Journal of experimental psychology. General, 143 (3), 1349–1368.



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