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Faith in intuition and behavioral biases


  • Alós-Ferrer, Carlos
  • Hügelschäfer, Sabine


We use a 15-item self-report questionnaire known as “Faith in Intuition” to measure reliance on intuitive decision making, and ask whether the latter correlates with behavioral biases involving a failure of Bayesian updating. In a first experiment, we find that higher report scores are associated with an increased use of the representativeness heuristic (overweighting sample information). We find no evidence of increased conservatism (overweighting prior information). The results of a second experiment show that more intuitive decision makers rely more often on the “reinforcement heuristic” where successful decisions are repeated even if correctly updating prior beliefs indicates otherwise. However, this effect depends on the magnitude of incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Hügelschäfer, Sabine, 2012. "Faith in intuition and behavioral biases," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 182-192.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:84:y:2012:i:1:p:182-192
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.08.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Strack, Fritz, 2014. "From dual processes to multiple selves: Implications for economic behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-11.

    More about this item


    Behavioral biases; Bayesian updating; Intuition; Representativeness; Conservatism; Reinforcement;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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