xDelia: emotion-centred financial decision making and learning (final report)

Peffer, Gilbert; Fenton-O'Creevy, Mark; Adam, Marc; Astor, Philip; Cederholm, Henrik; Clough, Gill; Conole, Grainne; Davies, Gareth; Eriksson, Jeanette; Gaved, Mark; Heuer, Stephan; Jercic, Petar; Lindley, Craig; Lins, Jeffrey Todd; van Overveld, Marc; Scanlon, Eileen; Schaaff, Kristina and Smidts, Ale (2012). xDelia: emotion-centred financial decision making and learning (final report). xDelia Consortium, Milton Keynes, UK.

URL: http://www.xdelia.org/wp-content/uploads/FR_Publis...


Competence in financial matters has become part and parcel of everyday life, both at the work place and in our daily lives. Traditional learning cannot deliver the necessary skills, and more innovative solutions are needed. Serious games, wearable sensors, and a focus on emotions lie at the heart of this project’s novel, technology-supported approach to expertise and competence-building in financial decision making.

xDelia is a 3-year pan-European project building on the knowledge, skills, and competences of seven partner organisations from a variety of research disciplines and from business. The principal objective of xDelia is to develop technology-enhanced learning approaches that help improve the financial decision making of investors who trade frequently using an electronic trading platform. We focus on emotions, and how they affect maladaptive decision biases and trading performance. Our earlier field work with traders has shown that the development of emotion regulation skills is a key facet of trader expertise. For that reason we consider expert traders our benchmark for adaptive behaviour rather than normative rationality. Our goal is to provide investors with the tools and techniques to develop greater self-awareness of internal states, increase their ability to reflect critically on emotion-informed choices, develop emotion management skills, and support the transfer of these skills to the real-world practice setting of financial trading.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of what xDelia is about and what we have achieved over the life of the project. In the sections that follow, we explain the decision problems investors are faced with in a fast paced environment and the limitations of traditional approaches to reduce cognitive errors; introduce an alternative, technology-enhanced learning approach of diagnosis and feedback, skill development, and transfer; describe the learning intervention comprising twelve autonomous learning elements that we have developed; and present evidence from thirty-five studies we have conducted on learning effects and stakeholder acceptance.

Much of this document is based on the thirty or so project deliverables, which offer far more detailed and definite discussion on the various aspects that we could only sketch out here. We have provided references to these deliverables throughout the document.

The remainder of this report is divided into five sections:

The xDelia project – summarises what xDelia tries to achieve, the learning intervention we have developed and the instruments we have used in the process, how the work unfolded over the three years, and how we evaluated our work and the project output.

The concept and purpose of the learning intervention – describes the challenge of reducing and overcoming financial decision biases, and the alternative approach we have developed, the investor target group, and the pedagogy underpinning our learning intervention.

The xDelia learning pathway – describes the pedagogical framework and the three stage learning approach of diagnosis and feedback, skill development, and learning transfer.

Elements of the learning pathway – briefly describes the purpose and key features of each of the learning elements within the learning intervention.

Evidence-based design and evaluation – presents an overview of the evaluation of the learning elements and of the user experience.

For further details about xDelia, project publications and deliverables, and contacts, please visit the project web site at www.xdelia.org.

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