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Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases

Listed author(s):
  • 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
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3481
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  1. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe, 2009. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  2. Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W, 2008. "Cooling-Off in Negotiations - Does It Work?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6807, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Cognitive Abilities and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 5735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Roider, Andreas & Mathias Drehmann & Jorg Oechssler, 2003. "Herding and Contrarian Behavior in Financial Markets - An Internet Experiment," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 177, Royal Economic Society.
  5. 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.
  6. Barberis, Nicholas & Thaler, Richard, 2003. "A survey of behavioral finance," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1053-1128 Elsevier.
  7. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2013. "Who Is ‘Behavioral’? Cognitive Ability And Anomalous Preferences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(6), pages 1231-1255, December.
  8. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  9. 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.
  10. Shleifer, Andrei, 2000. "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292272.
  11. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2005. "The Origin of the Winner’s Curse: A Laboratory Study," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000602, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Mathias Drehmann & Jörg Oechssler & Andreas Roider, 2005. "Herding with and without Payoff Externalities - An Internet Experiment," Working Papers 0420, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2005.
  13. Andrei Shleifer ad Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "The Limits of Arbitrage," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1725, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Abreu, Dilip & Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2002. "Synchronization risk and delayed arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 341-360.
  15. Slonim, Robert & Carlson, James & Bettinger, Eric, 2007. "Possession and discounting behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 215-221, December.
  16. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
  17. 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.
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