Look before You Leap: The Effects of Cognitive Impulsiveness and Reasoning Process on Rational Decision Making
23 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 6, 2017
Impulsivity may lead to several unfortunate consequences and maladaptive behaviors for clinical and non-clinical people. It has a key role in many forms of psychopatology. Although many studies discuss the negative impact of it, few of them emphasize the relationship between cognitive impulsiveness and decision making in non-clinical subjects. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of cognitive impulsiveness on decision making and explore the strategies used by non-clinical participants to solve problems. For this purpose, we apply two measures of impulsivity: the self-report Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and the performance based Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT). This is the first study that compares self-report impulsiveness based on BIS-11 with performance-based reflectivity measured by CRT. Moreover, we evaluate participants’ reasoning processes employed to answer CRT questions based on the calculation expressions and data organization they made while answering the CRT, notice that we apply the instruments with pen and paper. These reasoning processes are related to the role of Executive Functions for decision making and its relationship with impulsiveness. The sample consists of 191 non-clinical adults, either professionals or undergraduate students from the fields of business, management or accounting. Results show that cognitive impulsiveness may negatively affect decision making, and that who calculate CRT questions on the paper sheet make better decisions. Moreover, there is no difference in strategies used by impulsive and non-impulsive people during a decision making. Finally, people who inhibit their immediate answers also perform better during a decision making.
Keywords: Impulsivity, BIS-11, Reflectivity, CRT, Executive Functions, Dual Process, Reasoning Process, Decision Making
JEL Classification: I12
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