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

  • Hopfensitz, Astrid
  • Wranik, Tanja

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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  4. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  5. Potters, J.J.M. & van Winden, F.A.A.M., 2000. "Professionals and students in a lobbying experiment - Professional rules of conduct and subject surrogacy," Other publications TiSEM 964c6542-3994-4088-a7e6-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  6. George Wu, 1999. "Anxiety and Decision Making with Delayed Resolution of Uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 159-199, April.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
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  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. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73908 is not listed on IDEAS
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