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How to adapt to changing markets: experience and personality in a repeated investment game

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  • Hopfensitz, Astrid
  • Wranik, Tanja

Abstract

Investment behavior is traditionally investigated with the assumption that risky investment is on average advantageous. However, this may not always be the case. In this paper, we experimentally studied investment choices made by students and financial professionals under favorable and unfavorable market conditions in a multi-round investment game. In particular, the probability of winning was set so that investment in one condition was advantageous, and in one condition was disadvantageous. To investigate who is more likely to adapt their investment behaviors to the changing market conditions, we also measured personality and self-efficacy. We expected that investment behavior in changing markets could be predicted by a combination of experience (students, professionals), personality (anxiety, optimism, impulsivity, and Openness to Experience), and self-efficacy (belief in one’s ability to make good decisions in an investment task). Results indicate that professionals do not significantly differ from students in their decisions. Personality and self-efficacy both predicted investment behavior. In particular, we found that optimism and anxiety were a liability in unfavorable markets, leading to unreasonable levels of risk. Impulsivity was a liability in both favorable and unfavorable markets, leading to high risk on unfavorable markets, and low risk in favorable markets. Openness to experience was an asset in unfavorable markets, leading to adjusted risk taking. Finally, self-efficacy was generally related to higher levels of risk.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 17835.

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Date of creation: 30 Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17835

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Keywords: risk taking; field experiment; personality; unfavorable conditions; professionals;

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  1. Hopfensitz, Astrid, 2009. "Previous outcomes and reference dependence: A meta study of repeated investment tasks with and without restricted feedback," MPRA Paper 16096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  3. Andrew W. Lo & Dmitry V. Repin & Brett N. Steenbarger, 2005. "Fear and Greed in Financial Markets: A Clinical Study of Day-Traders," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 352-359, May.
  4. Gneezy, U. & Potters, J.J.M., 1997. "An experiment on risk taking and evaluation periods," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73908, Tilburg University.
  5. Michael S. Haigh & John A. List, 2005. "Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 523-534, 02.
  6. Potters, Jan & van Winden, Frans, 2000. "Professionals and students in a lobbying experiment: Professional rules of conduct and subject surrogacy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 499-522, December.
  7. Hopfensitz, Astrid & Wranik, Tanja, 2008. "Psychological and environmental determinants of myopic loss aversion," MPRA Paper 9305, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. repec:feb:artefa:0072 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Astrid Hopfensitz & Frans Winden, 2008. "Dynamic Choice, Independence and Emotions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 249-300, March.
  10. Thaler, Richard H, et al, 1997. "The Effect of Myopia and Loss Aversion on Risk Taking: An Experimental Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 647-61, May.
  11. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory And Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79, February.
  12. Hopfensitz, Astrid, 2009. "Previous Outcomes and Reference Dependence: A Meta Study of Repeated Investment Tasks with Restricted Feedback," TSE Working Papers 09-087, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  13. Mark Grinblatt & Matti Keloharju, 2009. "Sensation Seeking, Overconfidence, and Trading Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 549-578, 04.
  14. Bellemare, C. & Krause, M. & Kroger, S. & Zhang, C., 2004. "Myopic Loss Aversion: Information Feedback vs. Investment Flexibility," Discussion Paper 2004-32, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  15. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  16. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  17. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  18. George Wu, 1999. "Anxiety and Decision Making with Delayed Resolution of Uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 159-199, April.
  19. Brandstatter, Hermann, 1997. "Becoming an entrepreneur -- A question of personality structure?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 157-177, April.
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  1. How to Adapt to Changing Markets: Experience and Personality in a Repeated Investment Game
    by Miguel in Simoleon Sense on 2010-05-26 13:56:13

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