• Slower is not always better: Response-time evidence clarifies the limited role of miserly information processing in the Cognitive Reflection Test

      Stupple, Edward J. N.; Pitchford, Melanie; Ball, Linden J.; Hunt, Thomas E.; Steel, Richard; University of Derby; University of Bedfordshire; University of Central Lancashire; Loughborough University (Public Library of Science (PLOS), 2017-11-04)
      We report a study examining the role of ‘cognitive miserliness’ as a determinant of poor performance on the standard three-item Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT). The cognitive miserliness hypothesis proposes that people often respond incorrectly on CRT items because of an unwillingness to go beyond default, heuristic processing and invest time and effort in analytic, reflective processing. Our analysis (N = 391) focused on people’s response times to CRT items to determine whether predicted associations are evident between miserly thinking and the generation of incorrect, intuitive answers. Evidence indicated only a weak correlation between CRT response times and accuracy. Item-level analyses also failed to demonstrate predicted response-time differences between correct analytic and incorrect intuitive answers for two of the three CRT items. We question whether participants who give incorrect intuitive answers on the CRT can legitimately be termed cognitive misers and whether the three CRT items measure the same general construct.