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The cognitive ability and working memory framework: Interpreting cognitive reflection test results in the domain of the cognitive experiential theory

Ayşegül Engin ()
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Ayşegül Engin: University of Vienna

Central European Journal of Operations Research, 2021, vol. 29, issue 1, No 11, 227-245

Abstract: Abstract The cognitive reflection test (hereafter, CRT) is a widely used tool in studies that deal with human decision-making and problem-solving. However, the interpretation of the results of the test remains an open discussion in extant literature. Despite the high predictive power, the characteristics of a decision-maker measured by the CRT remain unclear. This article suggests a novel and inclusive framework that relates the CRT to the cognitive experiential theory (hereafter, CET), which is a well-established dual-process theory. The framework explains the observed phenomena (e.g., individual decision-maker differences) using data from five laboratory experiments. The framework is inclusive because it provides possible explanations for the results in the published literature. The overall results support the argument that the CRT measures the efficiency of the resources of an individual’s working memory. In contrast, the rationality experientiality inventory (hereafter, REI) (a measurement tool of the cognitive experiential theory) captures an individual’s cognitive ability. The efficient use of the working memory leads to the full potential of decision-makers’ cognitive abilities in analytical tasks, thereby indicating that cognitive ability and working memory form a viable framework for studies in the disciplines behavioral operational research (hereafter, OR) and decision sciences.

Keywords: Cognitive ability and working memory framework; Cognitive reflection test; Cognitive experiential theory; Dual-process theory; Laboratory experiment; Behavioral OR (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10100-020-00721-6

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