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Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making

Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making Abstract This paper introduces a three-item “Cognitive Reflection Test” (CRT) as a simple measure of one type of cognitive ability—the ability or disposition to reflect on a question and resist reporting the first response that comes to mind. The author will show that CRT scores are predictive of the types of choices that feature prominently in tests of decision-making theories, like expected utility theory and prospect theory. Indeed, the relation is sometimes so strong that the preferences themselves effectively function as expressions of cognitive ability—an empirical fact begging for a theoretical explanation. The author examines the relation between CRT scores and two important decision-making characteristics: time preference and risk preference. The CRT scores are then compared with other measures of cognitive ability or cognitive “style.” The CRT scores exhibit considerable difference between men and women and the article explores how this relates to sex differences in time and risk preferences. The final section addresses the interpretation of correlations between cognitive abilities and decision-making characteristics. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Economic Perspectives American Economic Association

Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making

Journal of Economic Perspectives , Volume 19 (4) – Dec 1, 2005

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References (42)

Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by the American Economic Association
Subject
Symposia
ISSN
0895-3309
DOI
10.1257/089533005775196732
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This paper introduces a three-item “Cognitive Reflection Test” (CRT) as a simple measure of one type of cognitive ability—the ability or disposition to reflect on a question and resist reporting the first response that comes to mind. The author will show that CRT scores are predictive of the types of choices that feature prominently in tests of decision-making theories, like expected utility theory and prospect theory. Indeed, the relation is sometimes so strong that the preferences themselves effectively function as expressions of cognitive ability—an empirical fact begging for a theoretical explanation. The author examines the relation between CRT scores and two important decision-making characteristics: time preference and risk preference. The CRT scores are then compared with other measures of cognitive ability or cognitive “style.” The CRT scores exhibit considerable difference between men and women and the article explores how this relates to sex differences in time and risk preferences. The final section addresses the interpretation of correlations between cognitive abilities and decision-making characteristics.

Journal

Journal of Economic PerspectivesAmerican Economic Association

Published: Dec 1, 2005

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