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Linden Ball

University of Central Lancashire, UK 
[metacognitive control processes in reasoning, decision making, problem solving, collaborative task performance]
The emerging field of metareasoning research provides a fresh impetus for deploying the methods of Experimental Phenomenology. Metacognitive control processes (which concern the processes that monitor and control our thinking when we are engaged in tasks such as reasoning, decision making and problem solving) have an inherent experiential dimension. Metacognitive monitoring is experienced phenomenologically as a shifting state of “certainty” regarding how well a process is unfolding:  certainty can readily be captured through subjective measures such as feelings of warmth or rightness and is also manifest in the language that people use when asked to think aloud when reasoning or during collaborative task performance (the use of “hedge words” such as “maybe” or “perhaps” provides a sensitive index of subjective uncertainty that is linked to subsequent strategy change). Experimental phenomenology can allow to afford a deeper understanding of how subjective feelings of certainty and uncertainty drive effective thinking.