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Cognitive (ir)reflection: New experimental evidence

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  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. Brice Corgnet & Antonio M. Espín & Roberto Hernán-González, 2015. "The cognitive basis of social behavior: cognitive reflection overrides antisocial but not always prosocial motives," Working Papers 15-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    2. Judit Alonso & Roberto Di Paolo & Giovanni Ponti & Marcello Sartarelli, 2017. "Some (Mis)facts about 2D:4D, Preferences and Personality," Working Papers. Serie AD 2017-08, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    3. Pablo Brañas-Garza & Praveen Kujal & Balint Lenkei, 2015. "Cognitive Reflection Test: Whom, how, when," Working Papers 15-25, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    4. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Hügelschäfer, Sabine, 2016. "Faith in intuition and cognitive reflection," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 61-70.
    5. Cabrales, Antonio & Espin, Antonio & Kujal, Praveen & Rassenti, Stephen, 2017. "Humans' (incorrect) distrust of reflective decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 11949, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Corgnet, Brice & Espín, Antonio M. & Hernán-González, Roberto & Kujal, Praveen & Rassenti, Stephen, 2016. "To trust, or not to trust: Cognitive reflection in trust games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 20-27.
    7. Jimenez, Natalia & Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael & Tyran, Jean-Robert & Wengström, Erik, 2018. "Thinking fast, thinking badly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 41-44.
    8. Lucks, Konstantin, 2016. "The Impact of Self-Control on Investment Decisions," MPRA Paper 73099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Marcello Sartarelli, 2016. "Handedness, Ability, Earnings and Risk. Evidence from the Lab," Working Papers. Serie AD 2016-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioral economics; Cognitive reflection; Gender effects; Experiments;

    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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