The Psychology of Risk

Victor Ricciardi

Goucher College - Department of Business Management

October 5, 2010

BEHAVIORAL FINANCE: INVESTORS, CORPORATIONS, AND MARKETS, pp. 131-149, H. Kent Baker and John R. Nofsinger, eds., John Wiley & Sons, 2010

The topic of risk incorporates a variety of definitions within different fields such as psychology, sociology, finance, and engineering. In academic finance, the analysis of risk has two major perspectives known as standard (traditional) finance and behavioral finance. The central focus of standard finance proponents is based on the objective aspects of risk. The standard finance school uses statistical tools such as beta, standard deviation, and variance to measure risk. The risk-related topics of standard finance are classical decision theory, rationality, risk-averse behavior, modern portfolio theory, and the capital asset pricing model. The behavioral finance viewpoint examines both the quantitative (objective) and qualitative (subjective) aspects of risk. The subjective component of behavioral finance incorporates the cognitive and emotional issues of decision-making. The risk-oriented subjects of behavioral finance are behavioral decision theory, bounded rationality, prospect theory, and loss aversion. The assessment of risk is a multi-dimensional process and is contingent on the particular attributes of the financial product or service.

Keywords: Risk, Uncertainty, Objective Risk, Subjective Risk, Risk Perception, Perceived Risk, Risk-Taking Behavior, Standard Finance, Behavioral Finance, Financial Psychology, Modern Portfolio Theory, Standard Deviation, Beta, Capital Asset Pricing Model

JEL Classification: A12, D81, G00, G30, G10, M00, M10, M41

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Date posted: October 9, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Ricciardi, Victor, The Psychology of Risk (October 5, 2010). BEHAVIORAL FINANCE: INVESTORS, CORPORATIONS, AND MARKETS, pp. 131-149, H. Kent Baker and John R. Nofsinger, eds., John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1689554

Contact Information

Victor Ricciardi (Contact Author)
Goucher College - Department of Business Management ( email )
1021 Dulaney Valley Road
Baltimore, MD 21204-2794
United States
410-337-6291 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Investor-Behavior-Psychology-Financial-Investing/dp/1118492986
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