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Cognitive (ir)reflection: New experimental evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Cueva, Carlos
  • Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñigo
  • Mata-Pérez, Esther
  • Ponti, Giovanni
  • Sartarelli, Marcello
  • Yu, Haihan
  • Zhukova, Vita

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Cueva, Carlos & Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñigo & Mata-Pérez, Esther & Ponti, Giovanni & Sartarelli, Marcello & Yu, Haihan & Zhukova, Vita, 2016. "Cognitive (ir)reflection: New experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 81-93.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:64:y:2016:i:c:p:81-93
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2015.09.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioral economics; Cognitive reflection; Gender effects; Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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