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Cognitive (Ir)reflection: New Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Carlos Cueva Herrero

    (Dpto. Análisis Económico Aplicado)

  • Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene

    (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Esther Mata-Pérez

    (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)

  • Giovanni Ponti

    (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Marcello Sartarelli

    (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)

  • Haihan Yu

    (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)

  • Zhukova Vita

    (Dpto. Fundamentos del Análisis Económico)

Abstract

We study whether cognitive ability explains choices in a wide variety of behavioral tasks, including riskand social preferences, by collecting evidence from almost 1,200 subjects across eight experimentalprojects. Since Frederick (2005)'s Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) has been administered to allsubjects, our dataset is one of the largest in the literature. We divide the subjects pool into three groupsdepending on their CRT performance. Reflective subjects are those answering at least two of the threeCRT questions correctly. Impulsive ones are those who are unable to suppress the instinctive impulseto follow the intuitive although incorrect answer in at least two 2 questions, and the remaining subjectsform a residual group. We find that females score significantly worse than males in the CRT, and intheir wrong answers impulsive ones are observed more frequently. The 2D-4D ratio, which is higherfor females, is correlated negatively with subject's CRT score. In addition, we find that differencesbetween CRT groups in risk aversion depend on the elicitation method used. Finally, impulsive subjectshave higher social preferences, while reflective subjects are more likely to satisfy basic consistencyconditions in lottery choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Cueva Herrero & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene & Esther Mata-Pérez & Giovanni Ponti & Marcello Sartarelli & Haihan Yu & Zhukova Vita, 2015. "Cognitive (Ir)reflection: New Experimental Evidence," Working Papers. Serie AD 2015-02, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2015-02
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    behavioral economics; cognitive reflection; gender; laboratory experiment; personality;
    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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