Money fractures marriages, drives wars, inspires art, motivates some people to great achievements, leads others to despair. Fear, desire, love, hate, jealousy, anger, anxiety, relief, shame and many more shades of emotion may attach to money in the course of an ordinary day.
Yet, economic accounts of human financial behaviour focus on reasoned weighting of information and the utility of different courses of action. Back in the mid-nineties, whilst working as a researcher at London Business School, I got involved in a major research project looking at the risk taking behaviour of traders in investment banks. We were struck by how readily and how articulately many of the traders talked about their emotional experience of trading. This triggered my continuing interest in emotions and financial decision-making as I moved to the Open University Business School. I continue to do research on traders but have also increasingly looked at private investors and at everyday financial decision making.
Most recently myself and Adrian Furnham collaborated with the BBC to produce the Big Money Test. In this series of blogs I plan to bring together some of the online and media resources I like or have been involved in creating and write some fresh material inspired by recent events and research. I hope to shed some light on what often gets missed by economists; the rich emotional relationships we all have with money and the financial decisions we make.
Here are a few links to resources describing some of the work myself and colleagues have done in this area:-
- Trading on emotion: traders, reason and emotion in financial markets (OpenLearn)
- A reckless love of money (OpenLearn)
- Behavioural Finance at Barclays: An Interview with Greg B. Davies (moneyscience.com)
- The Brain Man: Richard Peterson, Sentiment Analysis and MarketPsychData (moneyscience.com)