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Are We Rational Animals? Part 2

This is the second in a two-part discussion about human rationality. Click to read Part 1, Are We Rational Animals?.

Intelligence as a predictor of rationality

Some may be surprised to learn that high levels of intelligence do not necessarily indicate high levels of rationality.  In fact, some people may rank high in intelligence while low in rationality.  There is more to sound thinking than intelligence.

Below is a list of rational thinking tasks and their association with cognitive ability/intelligence from Stanovich (2010, p.221).

Tasks that fail to show associations with cognitive ability

  • Noncausal base-rate usage (Stanovich & West, 1998c, 1999, 2008)
  • Conjunction fallacy between subjects (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • Framing between subjects (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • Anchoring effect (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • Evaluability less is more effect (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • Proportion dominance effect (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • Sunk cost effect (Stanovich & West, 2008; Parker & Fischhoff, 2005)
  • Risk/benefit confounding (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • Omission bias (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • Perspective bias (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • Certainty effect (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • WTP/WTA difference (Stanovich & West, 2008)
  • My-side bias between and within S (Stanovich & West, 2007, 2008)
  • Newcomb’s problem (Stanovich & West, 1999; Toplak & Stanovich, 2002)


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