Institut Jean Nicod

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Directrice de Recherche Émérite, CNRS


CONTACT ǀ Tel : 01 44 32 26 68







Proust’s 2011-2016 ERC-funded multidisciplinary research group has studied variations across culture of metacognitive performance in young children and adults. The experimental and anthropological evidence collected suggests that there are different patterns of epistemic development in European, Japanese and Mayan children, mapping into variations in adults’ epistemic sensitivity.

In a book in preparation, Critical Feelings, she further investigates the source of these variations. The book argues that both procedural and conceptual metacognition are better understood by applying an "outside in" methodology to cognitive actions – how they are shaped by time and resource constraints. Cognitive actions can be impulsive, habitual, or strategic ; metacognitive feelings have a different function in each action type. This insight leads to new interesting questions. What is the role of "critical feelings" – i.e. metacognitive feelings wilfully trained to enhance performance – in shaping the cultural variations observed ? What is the representational content of these feelings ? Does the social origin of epistemic practices pre-empt the role of epistemic norms in self-regulation ?

In another book in preparation, La metacognition à l’école, Proust applies metacognitive studies to optimize ways of "learning how to learn".