Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Makes perfect sense:

Psychopaths could be best financial traders

Wanted psychopaths to make a killing in the markets.

Such an advert will not be appearing in the world’s newspapers any time soon, but it may have a ring of truth after research revealed the best wheeler-dealers could well be “functional psychopaths”.

A team of US scientists has found the emotionally impaired are more willing to gamble for high stakes and that people with brain damage may make good financial decisions, the Times newspaper reported on Monday.

In a study of investors’ behaviour 41 people with normal IQs were asked to play a simple investment game. Fifteen of the group had suffered lesions on the areas of the brain that affect emotions. The result was those with brain damage outperformed those without.

The scientists found emotions led some of the group to avoid risks even when the potential benefits far outweighed the losses, a phenomenon known as myopic loss aversion.

One of the researchers, Antione Bechara, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Iowa, said the best stock market investors might plausibly be called “functional psychopaths.” Fellow author, Baba Shiv of Stanford Graduate School of Business said many company chiefs and top lawyers may also show they share the same trait. “Emotions serve an adaptive role in speeding up the decision-making process,” said Shiv. reuters
I suppose this little incident would then qualify Bill Frist as a very successful investor!


At 9:14 AM, Anonymous msjan said...

Sounds like my ex-boss, the Insurance King.....


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