Abstract for: Reducing the gender gap: biases in understanding delays in personnel policies

This paper builds on previous research in stock-flow experiments. 168 participants were asked to recommend a hiring percentage of female professors they thought necessary to reach gender balance in an unbalanced personnel situation. They were also asked to estimate the timeframe needed to reach this. Additionally, participants were asked to write down a justification for their choices. These justifications provide insight into the reasoning people use in stock-flow tasks. The experiment confirmed that people have difficulties understanding the distinction between stock and flows, and in particular underestimate the effect of average delays. Moreover it showed that not only cognitive bias, but also political considerations play a role in reasoning on this task. Further research is needed to examine the interplay between these two.