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Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases

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  • Oechssler, Jörg

    (Heidelberg University)

  • Roider, Andreas

    (University of Regensburg)

  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

    (University of Cologne)

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 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2008. "Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases," IZA Discussion Papers 3481, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3481
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cognitive abilities; biases; behavioral finance; cognitive reflection test;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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