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Modifier words in the financial press and investor expectations

Author

Listed:
  • Bosman, Ronald
  • Kräussl, Roman
  • Mirgorodskaya, Elizaveta

Abstract

We experimentally investigate the priming effect of modifier words in the news media by looking at how different formulation of news affects investor expectations and beliefs. We asked subjects to estimate the future stock price for twelve real (anonymous) listed companies. They received information about historical stock prices and extracts from real newspaper articles, published on the last month of each corresponding stock. Subjects were divided into two treatment groups that differed in the framing of the newspaper article. In the positive (negative) news frame condition, the positive (negative) news are accentuated with emphasizer and amplifier words, while the negative (positive) news are attenuated with downtoners. The factual information remained identical across treatment groups. We found that subjects were more likely to expect higher (lower) future stock prices, be optimistic (pessimistic) about the economy and the potential of a stock, perceive stock markets as more safe (risky), and decide to buy (sell) stocks after reading news that emphasized positive (negative) and attenuated negative (positive) content.

Suggested Citation

  • Bosman, Ronald & Kräussl, Roman & Mirgorodskaya, Elizaveta, 2017. "Modifier words in the financial press and investor expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 85-98.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:85-98 DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.04.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    News media; Investment decisions; Sentiment; Framing; Price expectations; Salience; Priming;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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