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Traders More Reckless Than Psychopaths

In a day when the market goes from euphoric to sad and gives away most of its gains in the last hour of trading, I think the recent swiss research study is well suited:

According to a new study at the University of St. Gallen seen by SPIEGEL, one contributing factor may be that stockbrokers’ behavior is more reckless and manipulative than that of psychopaths. Researchers at the Swiss research university measured the readiness to cooperate and the egotism of 28 professional traders who took part in computer simulations and intelligence tests. The results, compared with the behavior of psychopaths, exceeded the expectations of the study’s co-authors, forensic expert Pascal Scherrer, and Thomas Noll, a lead administrator at the Pöschwies prison north of Zürich.

“Naturally one can’t characterize the traders as deranged,” Noll told SPIEGEL. “But for example, they behaved more egotistically and were more willing to take risks than a group of psychopaths who took the same test.”

Maybe that’s why the video of Alessio Rastani is going viral.  Most people cannot relate to the statement, “When I go to bed every night I dream of another recession.”


Read the full article at SpiegelOnline.

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4 Responses

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  1. Charlie Lefaux says

    28 traders (28 data points) is anything but a robust study. Furthermore, there was no control group. I would have liked to have seen 100 traders, 100 police officers, 100 professional athletes, 100 psychopaths, and finally 100 randomly selected people.

    This “study” amounts to pseudoscience.

  2. SurlyTrader says

    So it’s a hit piece on the trading profession? Still, makes for entertaining reading when he leaps to this rather poignant conclusion: “they behaved more egotistically and were more willing to take risks than a group of psychopaths who took the same test”

  3. Praetorian says

    Well, I think that what he is saying is not stupid at all, there is indeed a lot of opportunities to profit for recessions, crashes and so on. I would like to know if people consider John Paulson a psychopath, I am sure he was dreaming (more like praying) for a recession and real state crash. If you really understand the world you should be prepared to profit or at least be protected from a recession.

  4. Travis Robinson says

    LOL. “I’m a trader. I don’t care.”

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