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Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT)

Frederick, S. (2005). Cognitive reflection and decision making. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(4), 25-42. doi: 10.1257/089533005775196732
The measure: Frederick (2005) CRT.doc


Table of Contents


Description


History of Use


References


Description:

Purpose

The CRT was designed to assess a specific cognitive ability. It assesses individuals' ability to suppress an intuitive and spontaneous ("system 1") wrong answer in favor of a reflective and deliberative ("system 2") right answer.
Questions

3 brainteaser items using a free-response format
Sub-scales

None
Domain

  • Time preference
  • Risk preference
Psychometrics


Sample items

  • A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball.
    How much does the ball cost?
  • If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take
    100 machines to make 100 widgets?
  • In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size.
    If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it
    take for the patch to cover half of the lake?

History of Use:

Scale Validation:


Scale development and validation.
  • Across a range of measures of time preference, Ps with higher CRT scores were more patient (had lower discount rates) for short time horizons.
  • Across a range of measures of risk preference, Ps with higher CRT scores were less risk-averse for gains and less risk-seeking for losses. (In other words, the reflection effect is reduced and even eliminated for Ps with high CRT scores.)
  • Men scored higher than women on the CRT.

Frederick (2005)
Scale Uses:


The CRT was presented to Ps in a fluent or disfluent font.
  • Ps performed better on the CRT when it was presented in a disfluent font, t(38) = 2.25, p = .03, η2 = .12
  • The authors conclude that disfluency increases systematic processing.

Alter et al. (2007)
The authors investigated the relationship between CRT scores and comfort with statistical concepts.
  • Higher scores on the CRT were correlated with sensitivity to sample size (r = .23, p = .0008) and to mean difference (r = .32, p < .0001)

Obrecht et al. (2007)
The CRT was used as a disfluency cue.
  • The authors conclude that taking the CRT and answering questions correctly activates "System 2" processes for subsequent tasks.

Pinillos et al. (2011)

References:

Scale:
Frederick, S. (2005). Cognitive reflection and decision making. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(4), 25-42. doi: 10.1257/089533005775196732
Uses:
  • Alter, A., Oppenheimer, D., Epley, N., & Eyre, R. (2007). Overcoming intuition: Metacognitive difficulty activates analytic reasoning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136(4), 569-576. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.136.4.569
  • Cokely, E. T., & Feltz, A. (2009). Individual differences, judgment biases, and theory-of-mind: Deconstructing the intentional action side effect asymmetry. Journal of Research in Personality, 43(1), 18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2008.10.007
  • Oechssler, J., Roider, A., & Schmitz, P. W. (2009). Cognitive abilities and behavioral biases. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 72(1), 147-152. doi: 10.1016/j.jebo.2009.04.018
  • Pinillos, N. Ángel, Nick Smith, G. Shyam Nair, Peter Marchetto and Cecilea Mun. (2011). Philosophy's New Challenge: Experiments and Intentional Action. Mind and Language, 26(1),115-139. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2010.01412.x

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