Does it make sense to talk about “rational people”?
That is, is there a sub-population of individuals who consistently exhibit less cognitive bias and better judgment under uncertainty than average people? Do these people have the dispositions we’d intuitively associate with more thoughtful habits of mind? (Are they more flexible and deliberative, less dogmatic and impulsive?)
And, if so, what are the characteristics associated with rationality? Are rational people more intelligent? Do they have distinctive demographics, educational backgrounds, or neurological features?
This is my attempt to find out what the scientific literature has to say about the question. (Note: I’m going to borrow heavily from Keith Stanovich, as he’s the leading researcher in individual differences in rationality. My positions are very close, if not identical, to his, though I answer some questions that he doesn’t cover.)
More here – Otium