Assistant Professor of Marketing
Overconfidence; Investor Behavior; Memory Bias; Trading Frequency;
The authors document a memory-based mechanism associated with investor overconfidence.In Studies 1 and 2, investors were asked to recall their most important trades in the recent past and then reported investing confidence and trading frequency. After the study, they looked up and reported the actual returns of these trades. In both studies, investors were biased to recall returns as higher than achieved, and larger memory biases were associated with greater overconfidence and trading frequency.The design of Study 2 allowed the authors to separately investigate the effects of two types of memory biases: distortion and selective forgetting. Both types of bias were present and were independently associated with overconfidence and trading frequency.Study 3 was an incentive-compatible experiment in which overconfidence and trading frequency were reduced when participants looked up previous consequential trades compared to when they reported them from memory.