​Understanding and Extending Human Metacognitive Intelligence
TWCF Number
Project Duration
January 31 / 2017
- April 30 / 2019
Core Funding Area
Big Questions
North America
Amount Awarded
Grant DOI*

* A Grant DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique, open, global, persistent and machine-actionable identifier for a grant.

Thomas Griffiths
Institution The Regents of the University of California

One crucial aspect of the human mind is metacognitive intelligence: the ability to adapt our cognitive strategies to use available computational resources. This project combines mathematical tools developed in artificial intelligence literature with large-scale behavioral experiments to gain new insights into the nature of human metacognition and to help people discover effective cognitive strategies more quickly.

The project has three aims:

1. To conduct a large-scale online experiment that makes it possible to measure how people navigate the tradeoff between gathering information and acting—a basic component of metacognitive intelligence. This experiment will provide a new benchmark dataset for the study of human metacognition.
2. To formalize this tradeoff and identify its optimal solution using tools from the artificial intelligence literature. Doing so will provide a link between different approaches to studying intelligence, offer new insights into human metacognition, and result in a richer set of models of human cognitive flexibility.
3. To use the optimal solutions to design a training program that will help people find effective cognitive strategies more quickly, saving them time and effort and potentially supporting greater farsightedness in other tasks.

Opinions expressed on this page, or any media linked to it, do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. does not control the content of external links.
Person doing research
Projects &
Explore the projects we’ve funded. We’ve awarded hundreds of grants to researchers and institutions worldwide.

Projects & Resources