Are there gender differences in cognitive reflection? Invariance and differences related to mathematics

Thinking and Reasoning 24 (2):258-279 (2018)
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Abstract

Cognitive reflection is recognized as an important skill, which is necessary for making advantageous decisions. Even though gender differences in the Cognitive Reflection test appear to be robust across multiple studies, little research has examined the source of the gender gap in performance. In Study 1, we tested the invariance of the scale across genders. In Study 2, we investigated the role of math anxiety, mathematical reasoning, and gender in CRT performance. The results attested the measurement equivalence of the Cognitive Reflection Test – Long, when administered to male and female students. Additionally, the results of the mediation analysis showed an indirect effect of gender on CRT-L performance through mathematical reasoning and math anxiety. The direct effect of gender was no longer statistically significant after accounting for the other variables. The current findings suggest that cognitive reflection is affected by numerical skills and related feelings.

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