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Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases

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  • Oechssler, Jörg
  • Roider, Andreas
  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

Abstract

We use a simple, three-item test for cognitive abilities to investigate whether established behavioral biases that play a prominent role in behavioral economics and finance are related to cognitive abilities. We find that higher test scores on the Cognitive Reflection Test of Frederick (2005) indeed are correlated with lower incidences of the conjunction fallacy, conservatism in updating probabil-ities, and overconfidence. Test scores are also significantly related to subjects' time and risk preferences. We find no influence on anchoring. However, even if biases are lower for people with higher cognitive abilities, they still remain substantial.

Suggested Citation

  • Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2009. "Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases," Working Papers 0465, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0465
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    behavioral finance; biases; cognitive abilities; cognitive reflection test;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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