Effects of metacognitive thinking and knowledge acquisition in dyads on individual problem solving and transfer performance

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We investigated if metacognitive thinking and knowledge acquisition in dyads improve individual problem solving performance and transfer to new problems. In the learning phase, participants solved several Tower of Hanoi problems and half of them were stimulated to metacognitive thinking. A second variable studied was if the learning tasks were solved individually or in dyads. The subsequent individually completed test phase consisted of two structurally similar and of two dissimilar transfer tasks. Metacognitive stimulation enhanced performance in all cases. Those participants who had been stimulated to metacognitive thinking, whether individually or in dyads, performed better on every task than did the individuals in the control group. Dyads proved better at solving the learning tasks than did the individuals, although this advantage did not affect individual performance on the transfer tasks.

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