A Cue for Rational Reasoning: Introducing a Reference Point in Cognitive Reflection Tasks


  • Kaja Damnjanović
  • Vera Novković
  • Irena Pavlović
  • Sandra Ilić
  • Slobodan Pantelić


The dual process framework posits that we reason using the quick System 1, and the deliberate System 2, both of which are part of our “adaptive toolbox”. The Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) estimates which system was used to solve a reasoning problem. Usually, the CRT tasks are solved incorrectly by using System 1, and correctly through System 2. We’ve applied the reference point hypothesis to the tasks of the CRT and proposed that this change would facilitate the switch between systems, resulting in better performance on the version of the test with a reference point, compared to the CRT without one. The results confirmed our assumptions, as evidenced by a generally higher score on the CRT with a reference point, albeit with different effects between items.