Time preferences, cognitive abilities and intrinsic motivation to exert effort

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STANĚK Rostislav KRČÁL Ondřej

Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Applied Economics Letters
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Economics and Administration

Web https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504851.2018.1529387
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2018.1529387
Keywords time preferences; cognitive abilities; intrinsic motivation; laboratory experiment
Description The experimental literature has found a positive relationship between patience and performance in cognitive tests that are not incentivized by money. It has also been shown that unincentivized cognitive tests capture not only cognitive ability (CA), but also intrinsic motivation related to the test takers’ personality traits. In order to determine whether the relationship between patience and test scores is driven by intrinsic motivation or CA, we run an experiment in which subjects take either incentivized or unincentivized cognitive tests. We find that while incentivized test scores positively correlate with patience, the unincentivized scores are not related to the time preferences of our subjects. The observed correlation between patience and cognitive test scores therefore seems to be driven by CA rather than by intrinsic motivation related to personality traits.
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