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Cognitive (ir)reflection: New experimental evidence

Carlos Cueva, Inigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe (), Mata-Pérez, Esther, Giovanni Ponti (), Marcello Sartarelli (), Haihan Yu and Vita Zhukova

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2016, vol. 64, issue C, 81-93

Abstract: We study how cognitive abilities correlate with behavioral choices by collecting evidence from almost 1200 subjects across eight experimental projects concerning a wide variety of tasks, including some classic risk and social preference elicitation protocols. The Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) has been administered to all our experimental subjects, which makes our dataset one of the largest in the literature. We partition our subject pool into three groups depending on their CRT performance. Reflective subjects are those answering at least two of the three CRT questions correctly. Impulsive subjects are those who are unable to suppress the instinctive impulse to follow the intuitive – although incorrect – answer in at least two 2 questions. The remaining subjects form a residual group. We find that females score significantly less than males in the CRT and that, in their wrong answers, impulsive ones are observed more frequently. The 2D:4D ratio, which is higher for females, is correlated negatively with subjects’ CRT score. We also find that differences in risk attitudes across CRT groups crucially depend on the elicitation task. Finally, impulsive subjects have higher social (inequity-averse) concerns, while reflective subjects are more likely to satisfy basic consistency requirements in lottery choices.

Keywords: Behavioral economics; Cognitive reflection; Gender effects; Experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D81 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Working Paper: Cognitive (Ir)reflection: New Experimental Evidence (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Cognitive (Ir)reflection: New Experimental Evidence (2015) Downloads
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