Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

“If I’m Scared, So Are You.” Study Reveals How Fear Impacts Stock Market Decisions

08.11.2011
Watching a horror movie can scare you into selling your stocks earlier than you would have otherwise. That’s the frightening evidence shown in a series of studies by Associate Professor Eduardo Andrade, University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Andrade and Chan Jean Lee, a PhD candidate, both in the Haas Marketing Group, are the co-authors of “Fear, Social Projection, and Financial Decision Making,” forthcoming in a special issue on consumers’ financial decision making in the Journal of Marketing Research, November 2011.

The article explains that the scared investor’s early decision to sell stocks happens through “social projection”—people’s tendency to heavily rely on their own current feelings and inclinations when they estimate others’ state of mind and preferences. As a result of social projection, an investor who is scared assumes that other investors are also scared and that their fear will consequently drive the stock price down, prompting the one investor to sell early before the price sinks.

“If I’m scared, I tend to project that you are scared,” Andrade explains. “If I feel like selling, I project that you are also going to sell, and that pushes me to sell earlier rather than later in anticipation of a drop in stock value.”

Lee and Andrade set out to manipulate the participants’ emotions in a way completely unrelated to the stock market. They created two random groups. One group watched clips from horror movies such as “The Sixth Sense” and “The Ring.” The other test group watched documentaries about Benjamin Franklin and Vincent Van Gogh containing material not intended to illicit emotion. After the screenings, researchers told the participants that it was time to move onto another experiment, a stock market simulation.

In the stock market simulation, participants went through 25 rounds in which they had an opportunity to sell a $10 stock (part of their participation fee). The rules of the market stated that prices would decrease if any participant sold his or her stock, and prices would increase if every player held onto their stock. Each simulation involved approximately 26 anonymous participants and therefore, prices could go up or down in any given round.

Selling patterns indicated that the scared players, that is, those who watched the horror movies in the previous task, were more likely to sell early in the game than those who watched the documentary films. Put simply, an incidental induction of fear triggered selling behavior. In order to test for the role of social projection, Lee and Andrade added a few twists. They reasoned that if social projection is a key mechanism during the decision-making process, the impact of fear should be reduced when people are less likely to try to project what others will do.

Consistent with this hypothesis, fear promoted early selling only when participants were told that the value of the stock was peer-generated. When participants were told that the stock value was randomly determined by a computer (where social projection is not a factor), the fearful experienced derived from watching the horror movie had no impact on their decision.

The final study of the article found that early sell-off occurred when the investor was told that others shared in his or her risk attitude. At the same time, when the investor was told that his or her risk attitude was very unique in the market, the resulted tended to reverse.

Andrade says the study suggests that controlling the influence of fear in financial decisions can be profitable. “Generally speaking, those who made more money were those who decided to stay longer in the simulation game.”

Pamela Tom | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.haas.berkeley.edu

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Microtechnology industry is hiring – positive developments of past years continue
09.04.2018 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

nachricht RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index with minor decline on a high overall level
20.03.2018 | RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>