Investigating selected behavioral biases in Turkey: an analysis using survey data

Turgut, Görkem Özer
It has been widely accepted that people do not always behave rationally when making decisions. However, cognitive biases are still of interest to a relatively small group (mostly working in the area of psychology) even though they have been introduced to a wider audience by Tversky and Kahneman’s article in Science in 1974. It has already been shown that behavioral biases affect most decisions of people; therefore, they have an important role in a wide range of fields, from financial marketing to gambling. The purpose of this study is to investigate some cognitive biases (anchoring, reference point, probability judgment and risk propensity) in Turkey. In brief, anchoring bias is the fallacious effect of anchor values on decision making process, the presence of reference point bias proves that people are excessively affected by comparisons, probability judgment bias is the erroneous evaluation of probabilities, and risk propensity bias is the fallacious effect of the risk propensity levels on decision making processes. The relationships of these biases with individual cognitive ability levels and socioeconomic variables are also inspected. The data are collected by using a survey that is composed of the related measures which are taken from previous surveys in the literature. The sample is composed of a large number of participants (1575) from a wide range of socioeconomic statuses, from students to working professionals to retired individuals. The results lend support to the presence of a reference point bias, and an effect of risk propensity levels on decisions. However, an evidence which supports anchoring and probability judgment biases are failed to be found at a significant level. A significant relationship between cognitive ability level and risk propensity level is found. Moreover, demographic variables are also found to have an effect on the selected biases and cognitive ability. .


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Citation Formats
G. Ö. Turgut, “Investigating selected behavioral biases in Turkey: an analysis using survey data,” M.B.A. - Master of Business Administration, Middle East Technical University, 2011.