The attraction effect occurs when a third option is added to two seemingly equivalent options but it competes against only one of the original options. This increases the likelihood of the dominating option being chosen. In attraction effect studies, it is assumed that both attributes of the options are of equal importance to the decision maker. We aimed to examine whether attribute preference would affect the occurrence of the attraction effect when choosing financial products. A total of 487 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to groups with the financial product choice of two or three options. We found that when participants had no clear attribute preference the attraction effect occurred more frequently. Those with a clear preference for one attribute succumbed to the effect only when choosing a product unfamiliar to them. The research sheds light on two conditions of the attraction effect: the product familiarity and the attribute preference.
Knowing which factors underlie beliefs concerning financial planning for retirement (FPR) among young adults is essential for designing interventions to support their actual FPR. Therefore, we examined predictors of FPR-related beliefs and current retirement savings in a sample of 502 employed Slovak adults aged 20 to 35 years. Actual savings and all dimensions of psychological preparedness for FPR were positively predicted by retirement financial literacy and self-rated financial literacy. Moreover, we found that perceived FPR emotional load decreases with education, and perceived FPR task complexity diminishes with age. Further, increasing income was predictive of a higher subjective FPR competence and a perception of FPR as less stressful. Finally, professional experience in the financial domain was linked to a higher self-assessed capability in terms of FPR, but also with a lower personal FPR engagement. Our findings stress the need for effective communication of information about FPR’s relevance to young people.
Delay discounting, the tendency to choose a smaller-sooner reward over a larger-later reward, has been conceptualized either as a personal preference or as a rational thinking component. In this study (N = 397), the associations between monetary delay discounting – constructed as a rational thinking task – and cognitive individual difference measures were examined. Participants with higher general cognitive ability, cognitive reflection, scientific reasoning, and objective numeracy had a weaker tendency to discount delayed rewards, the opposite was true for those with higher intuitive thinking disposition and bias susceptibility. Bias susceptibility predicted delay discounting over and above all other cognitive predictors. The results partially support the assumption about a common basis of delay discounting and susceptibility to cognitive biases (as a rational thinking indicator). Because of the relatively low explained variance in delay discounting by cognitive variables, however, ample room is left for other potential predictors in the monetary delay discounting tasks.
The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of professional financial experience on the relationships between financial knowledge and beliefs on financial planning for retirement (FPR) in young adults. We designed a domain-specific personal belief inventory comprising all important components involved in FPR. Financial professionals (n = 145) demonstrated greater knowledge of the financial retirement system compared with non-professionals (n = 382). The two groups, however, differed neither in objective nor self-rated general financial literacy. In non-professionals, higher financial literacy was positively linked to trust in the 2nd pension pillar, self-assessed competence in FPR, personal engagement in FPR, perceiving FPR as less emotionally loaded and FPR task as fewer complex. These predicted relationships were not found among professionals. Thus, professional experience in financial domain seems to bring a deeper and particularized insight into the pros and cons of the pension system, and consequently vacillating beliefs about FPR.
According to the cultural theory of risk, people’s cultural worldviews can bias the evaluation of risks and benefits, even after reading balanced arguments on a given topic. This assumption was tested on two controversial domains, which were relatively novel for the chosen population: nanoscience and HPV vaccination. Participants (N = 339) evaluated respective risks and benefits, either without or after reading balanced arguments. Contrary to earlier findings, positive perception of nanoscience was associated with egalitarianism. Worldviews of the pro- and con advocate of nanoscience influenced risk perception among people with little prior knowledge. Assessment of risks inherent to HPV vaccination was positively associated with hierarchism among men, negatively with familiarity among women, and sensitive to the worldviews of the advocates. We provide a discussion on how evaluation of risks and benefits in novel domains is affected by a complex interplay of cultural cognition, domain familiarity, personal relevance and general risk attitudes.