Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Male sex hormone may affect stock trades

This was actually a post from about a year ago. But it follows up on the last post about genes affecting investment decisions. The extra credit question on this week's quiz was "name a gene that affects investment decisions." Someone answered testosterone. Not a bad guess, but it is a hormone.

That is the name of an article you can read here. Here is an excerpt:

"Coates and Joe Herbert studied male financial traders in London, taking saliva samples in the morning and evening. They found that levels of two hormones, testosterone and cortisol, affected traders.

Those with higher levels of testosterone in the morning were more likely to make an unusually big profit that day, the researchers found. Testosterone, best known as the male sex hormone, affects aggression, confidence and risk-taking. Cortisol is tied to uncertainty, novelty and unpredictability, "which pretty much describes a trader's life," Coates said in a telephone interview.

Coates and Herbert's study comes less than two weeks after U.S. researchers reported that young men shown erotic pictures were more likely to make a larger financial gamble than if they were shown a picture of something scary, such as a snake, or something neutral, such as a stapler."

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