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The scales you just completed were the Over-claiming Technique by Delroy Paulhus (Paulhus & Harms, 2004) and the Cognitive Reflection Test by Shane Frederick (2004).

These scales are two proxy measures of an individual's cognitive ability or cognitive aptitude. For a long time psychologists have been interested in individual differences in cognitive ability. Although there are several well-validated intelligence tests for sale, we are unable to publish them on the web since it would be easy for people to pass along the questions to others. If the questions were available for mass consumption, it could invalidate the test. Luckily, some psychologists have developed proxies for measuring cognitive ability. By proxy we mean that although a measure doesn't directly test intelligence, scores on the measure are strongly correlated with scores on standardized intelligence tests. Two such proxies are the over-claiming technique (OCT), a measure of how much knowledge a person has accumulated, and the cognitive reflection test (CRT), a measure of a person's mathematical ability.

Your score on the OCT is calcuated by taking into account your familiarity with the real items (e.g., Bill Clinton) and subtracting how familiar you rated the false/fake items to be (e.g., Fred Gruneberg -- my next door neighbor). Also, familiarity ratings of 1 to 4 are treated the same. So if you rated your familiarity with "Bill Clinton" as 1, 2, 3, or 4 then you scored a +1 for that item. And if you rated your familiarity with "Fred Gruneberg" as 1, 2, 3, or 4 then you scored a -1 for that item. If you were unfamiliar with any real or false items, your scores for those items are 0. A perfect score would be identifying all real items and not recognizing any of the false items.

We cannot display your scores on the CRT word problems since responses have to be hand coded as correct or incorrect. However, studies show that across a wide range of people, the average score is a 1.24 out of 3. The correct answers are listed at the end of the page.

Something to keep in mind is that the OCT and CRT are likely to be strongly related to education level, meaning it is difficult to tell whether high scores on these scales truly represent cognitive ability, or merely education level. We suspect that it is a little of both (after all, people with high cognitive ability are likely to have higher education levels). Furthermore, psychologists differentiate between intelligence and cognitive ability. Although intelligence and cognitive ability are related, intelligence tests are meant to measure something innate, while cognitive ability tests measure skills that can change over time through education and training.

The reason we're interested in individuals' cognitive ability scores is because it may help us understand how information processing affects judgments, such as individual differences in the "evaluating social science research" study, or "reasoning styles study"

The graph below shows your score on the OCT as it compares to others who have taken this survey on our website. Scores range from 0%-100% and higher values correspond to more correct responses to the OCT. Your score is shown in green, scores of the average liberal are in blue, and scores of the average conservative are in red.



You are a member of the group:LessWrong and those results are shown with the Grey bar.




To read more about the nature of cognitive ability and intelligence, read this interview with psychologist Richard Nisbett. To read more about how some cognitive abilities improve and decline with age see this New York Times blog post.
If any questions were vague or unclear, or you had any other problems with this survey you can email the authors.

To read more about the CRT, you can read Frederick, S. (2005). Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(4), 25–42. The correct answers are 5 cents (bat/ball question), 5 min (widget question), and 47 days (lily pad question).



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