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Linking Trait Affectivity, Cognitive Ability, and Preferences Among Top Managers: Insights From a Lab-In-The-Field Experiment

Huong Trang Kim

Evaluation Review, 2023, vol. 47, issue 3, 479-503

Abstract: Even though there has been increasing interest in the role of cognition in leadership and in identifying the personality traits of effective leaders, there is a paucity of studies that investigate the unique influence of managers’ trait affectivity and cognitive ability on their different risk and time preferences. This paper investigates the role of managers’ trait affectivity and cognitive ability in their loss aversion and present bias among 623 top managers at textile and garment firms in Vietnam. We combine data on preferences elicited through a lab-in-the-field experiment with survey data. We find that managers with high positive affectivity (PA) or cognitive ability are less subject to loss aversion and present bias. In contrast, a manager with high negative affectivity (NA) is more likely to be impatient and loss averse. Furthermore, heterogeneity of trait affectivity and cognitive ability determines different loss aversion and present bias levels of managers in SMEs vis-à -vis their counterparts in large firms. Remarkably, we observe striking evidence that trait affectivity and cognitive ability significantly affect loss aversion and present bias levels of managers who were born during the Vietnam War. Still, it is not the story of their counterparts born after the Vietnam War. The results of our study are expected to provide valuable information regarding the role played by trait affectivity and cognitive ability in determining managers’ loss aversion and present bias in different pathways.

Keywords: trait affectivity; cognitive ability; loss aversion; present bias; preferences; managers; experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:evarev:v:47:y:2023:i:3:p:479-503

DOI: 10.1177/0193841X221143829

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