Wired to Lose

June 2002
Journal of Financial Planning;Jun2002, Vol. 15 Issue 6, p17
Academic Journal
The article presents information on the theory of William Gehring, a professor at the Michigan State University, about the tendency of investors to throw good money after experiencing losses. Why do investors throw good money after bad? The same reasons that gamblers chase their losses: because their brain tells them to. Gehring who has been studying brain waves and the anterior cingulate, a region of the brain associated with errors. Gehring and his colleagues studied how 12 subjects reacted to a gambling game of pure luck, for which they could win or lose 5-cent or 25-cent bets. Invariably, whenever the subjects lost on a 5-cent bet, which would light up the anterior cingulate region, they tried to recoup the loss with a 25-cent bet.


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