Home > Risk-Taking > Serotonin and Risk Taking: How do Genes Change Financial Choices?

Serotonin and Risk Taking: How do Genes Change Financial Choices?

Serotonin and Risk Taking: How do Genes Change Financial Choices?

Camelia M. Kuhnen
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin
Vanderbilt University – Department of Psychology

Brian Knutson
Stanford University – Psychology

March 7, 2011

Abstract:
Financial decision making has a significant genetic component, but it is still unknown how genes influence choice. Focusing on the serotonin transporter gene, we find that individuals possessing the short version of the gene invest less in equities, are less engaged in actively making investments decisions, and have fewer credit lines. Short gene carriers do not differ from others with respect to cognitive skills, education, or wealth. However, psychological and brain imaging evidence shows they have higher levels of neuroticism and suggests that genetically-driven negative emotional reactions induce the short gene carriers to avoid risky and complex financial choices.

Keywords: neuroeconomics, neurofinance, genetics, serotonin, financial risk taking, emotions

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Categories: Risk-Taking
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