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Herding, information uncertainty and investors' cognitive profile


  • Beatriz Fernández
  • Teresa Garcia-Merino
  • Rosa Mayoral
  • Valle Santos
  • Eleuterio Vallelado


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyze the interaction between the availability of financial information and individuals' cognitive profiles to explain investors' herding behavior. Design/methodology/approach - The authors designed and conducted an experiment to observe the behavior of subjects in three settings, each with a different level of information. Findings - Results confirm that a dependence relation exists between information, investors' behavioral biases and the herding phenomenon. Moreover, the experiment shows that information concerning the number of previous transactions in the market is particularly relevant to explain herding propensity among investors. The findings indicate that the cognitive profile of investors is more relevant as the availability of information increases and the number of previous transactions in the market is low. Research limitations/implications - Future research should examine further the best way to measure the individual's cognitive profile and its interaction with information limitation in financial markets. The presence of high levels of uncertainty favors herding behavior regardless of inter-individual differences, and only when the availability of information is high and the number of transactions is low does the subjects' cognitive profile explain the investors' herding behavior. Finally, it is observed that not all public information receives the same attention by investors. The attractiveness of public information requires further attention. Social implications - The herding phenomenon is difficult to anticipate because there are factors of a very diverse nature that intervene. Originality/value - The research described in this paper measures investors' cognitive profile to identify the interaction between availability of information, cognitive profile and herding.

Suggested Citation

  • Beatriz Fernández & Teresa Garcia-Merino & Rosa Mayoral & Valle Santos & Eleuterio Vallelado, 2011. "Herding, information uncertainty and investors' cognitive profile," Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(1), pages 7-33, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:qrfmpp:v:3:y:2011:i:1:p:7-33

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David M Harrison & Mark A. Lane & Michael J. Seiler, 2014. "Mimetic Herding Behavior and the Decision to Strategically Default," Framed Field Experiments 00625, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Michael Seiler & Mark Lane & David Harrison, 2014. "Mimetic Herding Behavior and the Decision to Strategically Default," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 621-653, November.
    3. Daniel Traian Pele & Miruna Mazurencu-Marinescu & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "Herding Behaviour, Bubbles and Log Periodic Power Laws in Illiquid Stock Markets. A Case Study on the Bucharest Stock Exchange," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-109/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Woodhouse, Sam Alan & Singh, Harminder & Bhattacharya, Sukanto & Kumar, Kuldeep, 2016. "Invisible walls: Do psychological barriers really exist in stock index levels?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 267-278.


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