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This is Your Portfolio on Winter: Seasonal Affective Disorder and Risk Aversion in Financial Decision Making

Thu, 13 Oct 2011 03:49:00 GMT

Via Kurzweil AI comes this curious piece of research:

People who experience seasonal depression shun financial risk-taking during seasons with diminished daylight, but are more willing to accept risk in spring and summer, a study by prof. Lisa Kramer of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Waterloo’s Mark Weber suggests.

The researchers based their findings on a study of faculty and staff at a large North American university. Participants were paid for each part of the study they joined, which included online surveys and behavioral assessments.


This study found that people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) displayed financial risk aversion that varied across the seasons as a function of seasonally changing affect. The SAD-sufferers had significantly stronger preferences for safe choices during the winter than non-SAD-sufferers, and they did not differ from non-SAD-sufferers during the summer. The effect of SAD on risk aversion in the winter was mediated by depression.

Get the Full Paper Here which is free (for a limited time, I assume)

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