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Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases

  • Oechssler, Jörg

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg)

  • Roider, Andreas

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Heidelberg)

  • Schmitz, Patrick W.

    ()

    (Staatswissenschaftliches Seminar, Universität Köln)

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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File URL: http://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de/publications/dp08-05.pdf
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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 08-05.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 19 May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:08-05
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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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. 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.
  3. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. " The Limits of Arbitrage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 35-55, March.
  4. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2009. "The Origin of the Winner's Curse: A Laboratory Study," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 207-36, February.
  5. Dimitris Christelis & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2008. "Cognitive Abilities and Portfolio Choice," Working Papers 2008_19, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  6. Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2009. "Cooling-Off in Negotiations - Does It Work?," Working Papers 0463, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  7. Slonim, Robert & Carlson, James & Bettinger, Eric, 2007. "Possession and discounting behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 215-221, December.
  8. 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.
  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. Mathias Drehmann & Jörg Oechssler, 2004. "Herding and Contrarian Behavior in Financial Markets - An Internet Experiment," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 55, Econometric Society.
  11. 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.
  12. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
  13. Drehmann, Mathias & Oechssler, Jorg & Roider, Andreas, 2007. "Herding with and without payoff externalities -- an internet experiment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 391-415, April.
  14. Shleifer, Andrei, 2000. "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292272, May.
  15. Abreu, Dilip & Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2002. "Synchronization risk and delayed arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 341-360.
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  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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