The Open UniversitySkip to content

Thinking, feeling and deciding: the influence of emotions on the decision making and performance of traders

Fenton-O'Creevy, Mark; Soane, Emma; Nicholson, Nigel and Willman, Paul (2011). Thinking, feeling and deciding: the influence of emotions on the decision making and performance of traders. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32(8) pp. 1044–1061.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (333kB)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


We report on a qualitative investigation of the influence of emotions on the decision-making of traders in four City of London investment banks, a setting where work has been predominantly theorized as dominated by rational analysis. We conclude that emotions and their regulation play a central role in traders' decision-making. We find differences between high and low performing traders in how they engage with their intuitions, and that different strategies for emotion regulation have material consequences for trader behavior and performance. Traders deploying antecedent-focused emotional regulation strategies achieve a performance advantage over those employing primarily response-focused strategies. We argue that, in particular, response-focused approaches incur a performance penalty, in part because of the reduced opportunity to combine analysis with the use of affective cues in making intuitive judgments. We discuss the implications for our understanding of emotion and decision making, and for traders' practice.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN: 0894-3796
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetL211252056ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Not SetNot SetEuropean Commission 7th Framework Programme [grant number 231830]
Keywords: traders; emotion; emotion regulation; intuition; financial decision-making; performance
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 31984
Depositing User: Mark Fenton-O'Creevy
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2012 10:38
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:31
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU