Optimism and Risk Tendencies of Individual Investors





optimism, risk attitude, decision making, heuristics


The appearance of behavioral finance has shaken up classical financial theory. The classical theory of finance assumed the rationality of capital market participants. Behavioral finances negated the rationality of market participants and developed the theory that decisions are influenced by psychological errors. The most frequently mentioned heuristics mentioned in the literature are over‑optimism, risk aversion, self‑confidence and mental accounting.

The authors of this article examined 1,057 active individual investors in Poland in order to estimate the level and distribution of optimism among individual investors. An additional aim of the article was to analyze the relationship between optimism and the risk attitude, gender and selected socio‑demographic variables, such as age, education level, place of residence, and market experience. The study was conducted using a questionnaire. The survey consisted of the “Life Orientation Test (LOT‑R)”, a risk‑related questionnaire and a participant metric referring to: gender, age, investment experience, education, place of residence.

Research has shown that individual investors in Poland are characterized by an average level of optimism and positive orientation. The mean result of the LOT‑R test was 15.72, and the median was 16 points. There is a significant correlation between LOT‑R points and gender (men are slightly more optimistic), but the relationship is definitely weak. It should also be noted that it has not been proven that the variable “risk_attitude” has a significant relationship with the LOT‑R pts., as well as with other socio‑demographic features. The uniqueness of the proposed text is that it refers to the identification of optimists in analytical processes, while most texts dealing with the problem of over‑optimism immediately focus on measuring errors resulting from it.


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How to Cite

Keller, J., & Radke, M. (2023). Optimism and Risk Tendencies of Individual Investors. Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Oeconomica, 4(361), 84–105. https://doi.org/10.18778/0208-6018.361.04