Stop the Music?: The Effect of Music on Risky Financial Decisions: An Experimental Study

42 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2019

See all articles by Avi Israel

Avi Israel

College of Management Academic Studies, Israel

Eyal Lahav

College of Management Academic Studies, Israel

Naomi Ziv

College of Management Academic Studies, Israel

Date Written: January 18, 2019

Abstract

Decision-making processes can be influenced by situational factors, affecting risk taking. Background music, which is present in many everyday situations, has been shown to affect cognitive processes by influencing arousal and mood. The aim of the present study was to examine the possible effect of high- and low-arousal music on decision making in the context of financial investments, focusing on two tasks: a lottery-type task and a portfolio-diversification task. Participants were asked to make investment decisions while either high-tempo music, low-tempo music, or no music was played in the background. On the lottery-type task, low-tempo music led to more risky decisions (i.e., more investment in risky assets) than high-tempo or no music. On the portfolio-diversification task, low-tempo music led to more risky decisions (i.e., less diversification) than high-tempo music. Moreover, on both tasks, participants who subjectively perceived the music as helpful made riskier decisions. Results are discussed with regard to gender differences and previous findings.

Note: Acknowledgments: Authors’ names are in alphabetical order. We would like to thank the research authority at the School of Business Administration in the Academic College of Management Academic Studies (Israel) for financial support.

Keywords: behavioral finance; experimental finance; background music; risk preferences; investments

JEL Classification: G41

Suggested Citation

Israel, Avi and Lahav, Eyal and Ziv, Naomi, Stop the Music?: The Effect of Music on Risky Financial Decisions: An Experimental Study (January 18, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3318151 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3318151

Avi Israel

College of Management Academic Studies, Israel ( email )

Elie Wiesel St 2
Rishon LeTsiyon
Israel

Eyal Lahav (Contact Author)

College of Management Academic Studies, Israel ( email )

Elie Wiesel St 2
Rishon LeTsiyon
Israel

Naomi Ziv

College of Management Academic Studies, Israel ( email )

Elie Wiesel St 2
Rishon LeTsiyon
Israel

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