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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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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. Mathias Drehmann & Joerg Oechssler & Andreas Roider, 2002. "Herding and Contrarian Behavior in Financial Markets - An Internet Experiment," Experimental 0210001, EconWPA.
  2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Are Risk Aversion and Impatience Related to Cognitive Ability?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2620, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "The Limits of Arbitrage," NBER Working Papers 5167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2010. "Cognitive abilities and portfolio choice," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 18-38, January.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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. 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.
  10. Abreu, Dilip & Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2002. "Synchronization risk and delayed arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 341-360.
  11. Nicholas Barberis & Richard Thaler, 2002. "A Survey of Behavioral Finance," NBER Working Papers 9222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Shleifer, Andrei, 2000. "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292272, March.
  14. Slonim, Robert & Carlson, James & Bettinger, Eric, 2007. "Possession and discounting behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(3), pages 215-221, December.
  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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