Cognitive Reflection is a Stable Trait

13 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2018 Last revised: 20 Mar 2018

Michael Stagnaro

Yale University - Department of Psychology

Gordon Pennycook

Yale University

David G. Rand

Yale University

Date Written: January 31, 2018

Abstract

A substantial body of evidence has demonstrated that people vary to the extent they utilize analytic (Type 2) processing when engaging in decision making (analytic cognitive style, ACS). Much of this research discusses ACS as an enduring trait. To date, however, there is no evidence that a greater reliance on Type 2 processing is temporally stable. Here we aggregate data from 11 studies run on Amazon Mechanical Turk in which the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) was administered, and identify N = 2,992 unique individuals who completed the CRT twice. We find a strong correlation between an individual’s two CRT scores, r = .792. This is true even when constraining to individuals whose CRT scores were separated by over 2 years, r = .749. Furthermore, we find that CRT scores at time 1 are negatively correlated with belief in God at time 2, r = -.178, and with social conservatism at time 2, r = -.105. Taken together, these results suggest that ACS, as measured by the CRT, is reasonably stable over time.

Keywords: cognitive reflection test, analytic cognitive style, dual process, intuition, reflection, religious belief, ideology

Suggested Citation

Stagnaro, Michael and Pennycook, Gordon and Rand, David G., Cognitive Reflection is a Stable Trait (January 31, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3115809 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3115809

Michael Stagnaro (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Psychology ( email )

P.O. Box 208205
New Haven, CT 06520-8205
United States

Gordon Pennycook

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

David G. Rand

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.DaveRand.org

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