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Open Access Publications from the University of California

What is the CRT? Intelligence, Personality, Decision Style or Attention?


The well-known CRT is a test designed to measure a person’s ‘cognitive reflection’ and used as a predictor of decision making ability. Within the literature, however there is a growing consensus that it shares the majority of its variance with numerical and other cognitive abilities and thus the question increasingly asked is whether it has predictive power beyond existing measures. That is, is there something unique captured by the CRT? This study examines the CRT in parallel with a wide range of individual differences measures reflecting aspects of intelligence (8 CHC broad ability factors), personality (the Big 5 and 30 facets), other decision styles (5 measures) and attention (12 measures covering six aspects of attention). Results indicate that the CRT is, primarily, a cognitive measure, strongly linked to fluid, crystallized and quantitative ability but may also be capturing some distinct aspects of attention relating to the ability to ignore distractors.

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