See Inside Scientific American Mind Volume 25, Issue 5

Metacognition Is the Forgotten Secret to Success

Insight into our own thoughts, or metacognition, is key to high achievement in all domains

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Judith Keppel was a single question away from taking home £1 million. She was in the final round of a British quiz show, and she had to face one last challenge to become the show's first victor: “Which king was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine?”

After a brief discussion with the show's host, Chris Tarrant, she settled on Henry II. Then Tarrant asked her the killer question, the moment when contestants often agonize the most: “Final answer?” Without missing a beat, Keppel confirmed. The audience broke into cheers as it was revealed she had won.

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