Katharina Fellnhofer: A Female Myth? Measuring Intuitive Decision Making and its Gender Differences


Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


WJH 1550
Economic Sociology Seminar presentation by Katharina Fellnhofer, ETH Zurich/Harvard Sociology.


A Female Myth? Measuring Intuitive Decision Making and its Gender Differences

Despite the complexity of measuring intuitive decision making, it is enjoying increased attention in the scientific community. We make decisions based on two complementary but dissimilar cognitive processes, and just as our analytical processes do not guarantee rational decision making, nor do intuitive processes automatically produce irrational decisions. However, our knowledge of intuitive decision making and its successful interplay with its analytical counterpart remains in its infancy. While dual process theories have been extensively discussed in academic discourse, empirical research dedicated to intuition lags far behind the analytical decision-making literature due to methodological limitations, an overreliance on subjective accounts, and experiments flawed by small sample sizes lacking practical relevance. In our empirical study, we hypothesize that women and men are not significantly different when making intuitive decisions; however females perform significant differently when not able to use their intuition via additional emotional information on a subconscious level. Using a novel web-based experimental setting, a sample of 1,498 participants, and a focus on unbiased pure rational decisions like investment decisions, we empirically investigate intuitive decision making, particularly regarding gender differences, to shed more light on the myth of female intuition.