Learn English – word meaning ‘to think about thinking’?


Is there a word meaning 'to think about thinking '?

Ex: 'I was thinking about thinking about that suggestion.'

Best Answer

One word that comes to mind is metacognition:


: awareness or analysis of one's own learning or thinking processes

• research on metacognition … has demonstrated the value of monitoring one's own cognitive processes —Colette A. Daiute

The Study.com psychology course transcript "What is Metacognition in Psychology? - Definition & Examples" discusses this (emphasis in original):

Whether we're driving our cars, reading a book, texting a friend, or eating at a burger joint, we're using our brains. Our thought processes aren't limited to the classroom, and we learn all the time, from everyday experiences as well as from teachers and professors. So what's important about this learning? It's called metacognition, or what you know about your own thoughts. Metacognition is a deeper level of thinking that includes your ability to think about your thinking; how you understand, adapt, change, control, and use your thought processes.

Charlie, a professor preparing to instruct on metacognition, has written some ideas on the board about when his students use metacognition:

  • Anytime you problem solve or apply strategies, like figuring out a tip at a restaurant or planning a road trip across the country.
  • To reflect on results from a learning experience, or evaluate them, such as when you receive a B on a test and do extra credit to push the grade to an A.
  • When you're aware of ways that work for you to remember information, like dates or facts for a test.

In other words, as Charlie later explains to his students, you're being metacognitive anytime you stop and think about yourself as a thinker. Charlie's students are a little confused, so he offers additional explanations.

Although the psychology course transcript uses metacognitive as an adjective, it's not found in Merriam-Webster. It is, however, found in Oxford.

But I have not found an actual verb form of the word.

Still, you might be able to rephrase your sentence to something like this:

I was involved in metacognition with respect to your suggestion.