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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. 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.
  2. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2008. "Cognitive abilities and portfolio choice," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/35, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Mathias Drehmann & J�rg Oechssler & Andreas Roider, 2005. "Herding and Contrarian Behavior in Financial Markets: An Internet Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1403-1426, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2010. "Are risk aversion and impatience related to cognitive ability?," Munich Reprints in Economics 20063, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. 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 703-38, August.
  7. Shleifer, Andrei, 2000. "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292272, March.
  8. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "The Limits of Arbitrage," NBER Working Papers 5167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Abreu, Dilip & Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2002. "Synchronization risk and delayed arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 341-360.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Slonim, Robert & Carlson, James & Bettinger, Eric, 2007. "Possession and discounting behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 215-221, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Nicholas Barberis & Richard Thaler, 2002. "A Survey of Behavioral Finance," NBER Working Papers 9222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
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