Metacognition and Learning

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 15–31 | Cite as

Precursors of metamemory in young children: the role of theory of mind and metacognitive vocabulary

  • Kathrin LocklEmail author
  • Wolfgang Schneider
Empirical Study


This paper describes findings of a longitudinal study that was carried out to examine relationships among different aspects of young children's cognitive development, namely, theory of mind, metacognitive vocabulary, and metamemory, which seem theoretically connected but so far have not been studied simultaneously. In total, 174 children were included in the present analyses who were about 4;6 years of age at the first measurement point. Children were tested at four time points, separated by a testing interval of approximately half a year. At the first time of testing, children completed a set of theory of mind tasks. At each of the following measurement points, measures of metacognitive vocabulary and general vocabulary as well as metamemory were given. Overall, the findings show that theory of mind performance assessed at the age of 4;6 predicts metacognitive knowledge assessed about one and a half years later. Furthermore, they point to a reciprocal relationship between metacognitive vocabulary and metamemory in that comprehension of metacognitive vocabulary predicted later metamemory and, conversely, metamemory significantly predicted later comprehension of metacognitive verbs.


Longitudinal study Metacognitive knowledge Metacognitive vocabulary Young children Theory of mind 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BambergBambergGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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