Dr. Yael Sidi

Discipline: Cognitive Psychology

Expert in: Metacognition

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Key words: metacognition, problem-solving, digital learning 

What are you currently researching?
Most of my research is conducted within the metacognitive framework, examining the processes by which people monitor and regulate their knowledge and cognitive skills, in various tasks and under varying conditions. I am currently interested in the intersection of metacognition, technology, and education. In digital learning environments, self-regulation processes of learning are necessary and essential for optimal learning. In my studies, I focus on both the design of digital learning materials, and the social emotional factors involved in digital learning, and how these interact with metacognitive processes.       

How did you become involved in your research field?
During my master’s studies I heard a lecture by Prof. Rakefet Ackerman on the subject of metacognition. It immediately clicked for me – this is what I wanted to research! I scheduled a meeting with her and asked her to be my future advisor in my doctoral studies. And the rest, as they say, is history.        

What inspired you to become a researcher?
Being curious, discovering new things about how people think and interact, facing numerous challenges, and trying to continuously problem-solve. I am inspired by my colleagues as well as my students, and by being able to apply the knowledge gained from my studies to practical situations and real-life educational settings.  

Which of your research findings would you like to highlight?
Metacognitive research has traditionally focused on learning and memory tasks. However, people often face ill-defined problems that call for creative thinking rather than a particular response. Most creativity research has focused on factors that enhance or inhibit the originality of generated ideas, as evaluated by others. Much less is known about how people judge their own originality. While studying how people evaluate their own creativity, my colleagues and I found that people acknowledge the rise of originality in ideas with the order of their production. However, there is a robust under-confidence bias in originality judgments. This potentially means that people do not develop novel ideas as they do not recognize their own originality. There is a lesson here for everyone: You are probably more original than you think you are!

How does your research link to todays' challenges?
In digital learning environments, self-regulation processes of learning are necessary and essential for optimal learning. Digital learning environments also involve new social and emotional challenges. In light of the comprehensive transition that digital media has undergone in recent years, and especially in the past year, it is important to understand how cognitive and metacognitive processes are affected by the switch to online distance learning. My studies on metacognitive process in hypermedia environments, gamified learning, digital synchronous meeting tools (e.g. “zoom”), text comprehension, problem-solving and creativity address these important and current issues.
What excites you regarding your research field?
Metacognitive processes are important and relevant for all learning and thinking processes that we engage in. This offers a rare opportunity for multidisciplinary and collaborative research.