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Risk Anal. 2018 Nov 8. doi: 10.1111/risa.13226. [Epub ahead of print]

Cultivating Metacognition in Each of Us: Thinking About "Thinking" in Interdisciplinary Disaster Research.

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Steven J. Green School of Public and International Affairs & the Extreme Events Institute, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA.
Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA.


Although there is an emerging literature on interdisciplinary disaster research (IDR), one of the overlooked aspects relates to our thinking itself: how to actively think about our thinking-metacognition-while embarking on our interdisciplinary journeys. This article argues that metacognition has an instrumental value both for IDR projects and for individual researchers involved in IDR. For IDR projects, metacognition can help: (1)overcome disciplinary barriers in IDR by revealing cognitive abilities and inabilities for each team member through identifying what is hindering or enabling individuals and the group to transcend disciplinary boundaries toward true integration across the disciplines; (2)deal with "wicked" problems that characterize disaster contexts in a more effective and creative manner; (3)oversee team functioning; and (4)monitor and evaluate progress toward meeting project goals and objectives. For individual researchers, metacognition can help them grow intellectually, and understand the fallacies and limitations in their thinking. It can also encourage them to live an authentic and unified life as an individual. The article concludes with guidance on how individual researchers, principal investigators of IDR projects, and institutions such as universities and funding agencies can cultivate metacognition. To our knowledge, this is the first article that introduces metacognition as a tool for enhancing our thinking on IDR.


Disaster research; interdisciplinary research; metacognition; team science; thinking


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