MSNBC Insinuates Traders Can Be Worse Than Psychopaths

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by DemZad, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Ok file this one under WTF. According to MSNBC:

    Disturbing new research about financial traders and their personalities may shed some light on the behavior of Kweku Adoboli, the so-called “rogue” UBS trader who allegedly lost the bank $2.3 billion through unauthorized trading.

    A new study from a Swiss university finds that financial traders are more uncooperative than psychopaths and that they have a greater tendency for lying and risk-taking.

    As part of their executive MBA thesis at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, forensic psychiatrist Thomas Noll, a chief administrator at the Pöschwies prison near Zurich, and co-author Pascal Scherrer studied the behavior of 28 financial traders in a decision-making game, comparing their performances with those of people who were diagnosed as psychopaths.

    They expected to find that, like the psychopaths, the traders would be uncooperative with others, but that they’d perform better at the game because, as Noll said, traders “are supposed to be good at making money. In social interactions, they’re supposed to be good at performing.”

    But the two authors were shocked to discover that the traders were actually more uncooperative and egocentric than psychopaths when playing a prisoner’s dilemma game -- a type of gaming scenario where participants can choose to cooperate or betray each other.

    Moreover, even though the traders lied and took risks more than their psychopathic counterparts, their performance at the game was about the same as the control group. This means the traders not only didn’t play well with others, they also didn’t do any better at the game than regular Joes.
  2. Maverick74


    I would probably agree with this.
  3. So you don't think that's kind of a broad (not to mention dangerous) brush to paint the entire community with, especially given the anger many in the US feel towards Wall Street?
  4. Ricter


    First of all, it's not MSNBC's "insinuation", it's a report about a Swiss university's research. Second, the study does not claim all, as in "entire community", traders.
  5. Maverick74


    They didn't say "all" traders. They said they "can" be worse. Being that I have been around over 1000 traders over the years, which is a decent sample size, I would tend to agree with the study.
  6. Eight


    Finally, an explanation for the ET culture!!
  7. Here's the title of the article in question:

    "Traders more reckless than psychopaths, study shows"

    Not some traders, just traders.
  8. Maverick74


    Well "some" would be assumed. You can use the word "some" with anything. There would be no point to doing or publishing a study where one concludes that "some" people are capable of doing this or that. I believe that would fall under stating the obvious. :)
  9. Ricter


    Fair point.
  10. pspr


    I'm sure the Swiss would only study liberal traders and in this assesment of liberal traders I would agree.

    Conservative traders are much more social and not psychopathic.
    #10     Sep 28, 2011