Chronic stress skews decision toward high-risk/high-benefit

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by sle, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. I understand, but in this particular case it's a stylised experiment... I am just trying to understand the possible evolutionary rationale.

    I suppose what I am trying to say is that I am having trouble with a concept of "chronic stress" for an animal. Isn't it possible that even short-term stress for, say, a rodent is most often associated with a bad outcome (e.g. getting eaten; a rodent's survival probability conditional on short-term stress is very low, I imagine)? Which might suggest that "chronic stress" is just stress, period. So the response which is being observed is actually just a generic 'panic"-style reaction?

    Unfortunately, I can't access the full text of the article, so not sure whether they may have addressed this.
    #11     Nov 19, 2017
    comagnum likes this.
  2. Simples


    High risk is high stress. High risk over longer time leads to chronic stress, means risk it all or burn it all, type of mentality. Humans crave escape from stress.
    #12     Nov 19, 2017
    niko79542 likes this.
  3. sle


    It's run of the mill stress. In this case, they probably expose the poor animal to bright light (cause they like it dark). They specifically say that they are able to reproduce this effect by electrically stimulating specific parts of the brain for a while.

    I wonder if it's possible to do a retrospective study of some sort on humans that will confirm this. Like a trader who is always threatened to get fired is acting dumber than the guy who's secure :)
    #13     Nov 19, 2017
  4. niko79542


    Just [anecdotal evidence]. I find this to be true. And maybe one reason I am not cut out to be a day trader. I find it hard to stay glued to a screen. Even with <1.0% capital at risk, it stressses me out. Why stress myself out for something that is not contributing to the bottom line.

    I'll take a walk in the park and a night out ballet dancing over watching the markets. Come to think of it, reading this forum stresses me out too. People are always talking about how impossible it is to be a full time retail trader.
    #14     Nov 19, 2017
  5. eurusdzn


    Could time , or lack of it, be considered stress that causes poor decisions?
    Bucket list skydiving may not be wise.
    Playing catch up in December to achieve the year end numbers of your peers.
    Playing catch up at 55 years old so you can retire at 62 years old.

    Who here hasn't hurried to cross a street and lost a leg?
    #15     Nov 19, 2017
    tommcginnis and niko79542 like this.
  6. tommcginnis


    Think of a standard risk+reward evaluation: into the choice function goes elements of
    1) absolute payoff ($$$)
    2) outcomes' probabilities ("vol")
    3) time ("Tick-tock tick-tock, Clarice.")

    With an experience of deprivation, seeking low volatility beats return
    (And the cash goes under the mattress, or the gold gets buried in the back yard.)

    With chronic loss, time becomes paramount, and you want any reward right now.
    (And so the $5 you gave to the homeless guy for a Rally burger over the next 5 days, becomes instead a bottle of Mad Dog for a good drunk over the next 5 hours.)

    There is a famed (and repeated) study of children wherein they were offered a cookie now, or 3 cookies in an hour. The ones who 3-cookies-later (the ones who invested time) consistently fared better later in life.
    #16     Nov 20, 2017
    Simples likes this.
  7. tommcginnis


    I missed your 'time' remark first time through. You're right on target.
    #17     Nov 20, 2017
  8. sle


    The time/volatility incentive is an interesting hypothesis. To summarize, you’re equating uncertainty with stress (a reasonable thought). It’s perfectly sensible to maximize the current payoff if the future payouts are less probable.
    #18     Nov 20, 2017
    tommcginnis and Simples like this.
  9. Simples


    But how rational are people behaving, or do they react by instinct ("feeling") more? There are studies on people who have lost emotions/feelings, they become incapable of decision-making and initiative-taking, so it seems "feeling" is more fundamental, so-called "rational" thought-processes not possible without it!
    #19     Nov 20, 2017
    tommcginnis likes this.
  10. tommcginnis


    ... And with that, you just explained the difference between 30-year mortgages (secured by that lien) versus "Pay-day Loan" operators and credit cards, who operate on a "Promise-to-Pay".
    #20     Nov 20, 2017