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Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases

  • Oechssler, Jörg

    ()

    (Heidelberg University)

  • Roider, Andreas

    ()

    (University of Regensburg)

  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

    ()

    (University of Cologne)

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 probabilities, 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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3481.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3481
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  1. Drehmann, Mathias & Oechssler, Joerg & Roider, Andreas, 2003. "Herding and Contrarian Behavior in Financial Markets: An Internet Experiment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6zf5469f, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2010. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1238-60, June.
  3. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
  4. Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2008. "Cooling-Off in Negotiations - Does It Work?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-06, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  5. De Long, J. Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Waldmann, Robert J., 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Scholarly Articles 3725552, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Slonim, Robert & Carlson, James & Bettinger, Eric, 2007. "Possession and discounting behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 215-221, December.
  7. Abreu, Dilip & Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2002. "Synchronization risk and delayed arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 341-360.
  8. Drehmann, Mathias & Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas, 2005. "Herding With and Without Payoff Externalities - An Internet Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5310, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2008. "Cognitive abilities and portfolio choice," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/35, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  10. Nicholas Barberis & Richard Thaler, 2002. "A Survey of Behavioral Finance," NBER Working Papers 9222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " The Limits of Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 35-55, March.
  12. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2005. "The Origin of the Winner’s Curse: A Laboratory Study," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000602, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Shleifer, Andrei, 2000. "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292272, July.
  14. Charness, Gary B & Levin, Dan & Karni, Edi, 2008. "On the Conjunction Fallacy in Probability Judgment: New Experimental Evidence," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt2dn4t727, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  15. Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. " Does the Stock Market Rationally Reflect Fundamental Values?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 591-601, July.
  16. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  17. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Guillen, Pablo & del Paso, Rafael López, 2008. "Math skills and risk attitudes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 332-336, May.
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