Can Words Breed or Kill Investment? Metaphors, Imagery, Affect and Investor Behaviour

Henriette Prast, José Sanders, Olga Leonhard

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperOther research output

Abstract

In "building your portfolio", building is what linguists call a conceptual metaphor: the investor does not literally pile up his assets like they were bricks, but "building" is used as a metaphor for putting together elements. We could therefore also say "cooking", "sewing" or "weaving" your portfolio, as these are also activities that involve putting together elements to make your life comfortable. Conceptual metaphors make some aspects of the topic at hand salient, and hide others. Metaphors create imagery and induce affect. As the latter is shown to influence risk perception and return expectations, it is worthwhile to study metaphors in stock market reporting. In this paper we identify the metaphors in newspaper articles on the stock market both during a crash and in “normal” times. We find that both in the general and the financial
press journalists use many metaphors, that these come from a limited number of source domains, and that the latter are predominantly masculine, thus “priming” readers with certain aspects of investing. We speculate that this may create positive affect among men, not women, and bias masculine investors toward excess trading. If so, stock market reporting in newspapers could contribute to the gender difference in stated risk tolerance, financial risk taking, stock market participation and (excess) trading. We suggest further research to verify this.
LanguageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherCentER, Center for Economic Research
Number of pages43
Volume2018-014
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper
Volume2018-014

Fingerprint

Investor behavior
Imagery
Stock market
Investors
Stock market participation
Gender differences
Crash
Risk perception
Investing
Piles
Positive affect
Risk-return
Journalists
Assets
Risk taking
Sewing
Risk tolerance
Financial risk
Priming

Keywords

  • conceptual metaphors
  • imagery
  • affect
  • FAMILIARITY
  • risk perception
  • gender

Cite this

Prast, H., Sanders, J., & Leonhard, O. (2018). Can Words Breed or Kill Investment? Metaphors, Imagery, Affect and Investor Behaviour. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2018-014). Tilburg: CentER, Center for Economic Research.
Prast, Henriette ; Sanders, José ; Leonhard, Olga. / Can Words Breed or Kill Investment? Metaphors, Imagery, Affect and Investor Behaviour. Tilburg : CentER, Center for Economic Research, 2018. (CentER Discussion Paper).
@techreport{98113f5e7f7149aab3f783fe9a452703,
title = "Can Words Breed or Kill Investment? Metaphors, Imagery, Affect and Investor Behaviour",
abstract = "In {"}building your portfolio{"}, building is what linguists call a conceptual metaphor: the investor does not literally pile up his assets like they were bricks, but {"}building{"} is used as a metaphor for putting together elements. We could therefore also say {"}cooking{"}, {"}sewing{"} or {"}weaving{"} your portfolio, as these are also activities that involve putting together elements to make your life comfortable. Conceptual metaphors make some aspects of the topic at hand salient, and hide others. Metaphors create imagery and induce affect. As the latter is shown to influence risk perception and return expectations, it is worthwhile to study metaphors in stock market reporting. In this paper we identify the metaphors in newspaper articles on the stock market both during a crash and in “normal” times. We find that both in the general and the financialpress journalists use many metaphors, that these come from a limited number of source domains, and that the latter are predominantly masculine, thus “priming” readers with certain aspects of investing. We speculate that this may create positive affect among men, not women, and bias masculine investors toward excess trading. If so, stock market reporting in newspapers could contribute to the gender difference in stated risk tolerance, financial risk taking, stock market participation and (excess) trading. We suggest further research to verify this.",
keywords = "conceptual metaphors, imagery, affect, FAMILIARITY, risk perception, gender",
author = "Henriette Prast and Jos{\'e} Sanders and Olga Leonhard",
year = "2018",
month = "4",
day = "17",
language = "English",
volume = "2018-014",
series = "CentER Discussion Paper",
publisher = "CentER, Center for Economic Research",
type = "WorkingPaper",
institution = "CentER, Center for Economic Research",

}

Prast, H, Sanders, J & Leonhard, O 2018 'Can Words Breed or Kill Investment? Metaphors, Imagery, Affect and Investor Behaviour' CentER Discussion Paper, vol. 2018-014, CentER, Center for Economic Research, Tilburg.

Can Words Breed or Kill Investment? Metaphors, Imagery, Affect and Investor Behaviour. / Prast, Henriette; Sanders, José; Leonhard, Olga.

Tilburg : CentER, Center for Economic Research, 2018. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2018-014).

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperOther research output

TY - UNPB

T1 - Can Words Breed or Kill Investment? Metaphors, Imagery, Affect and Investor Behaviour

AU - Prast, Henriette

AU - Sanders, José

AU - Leonhard, Olga

PY - 2018/4/17

Y1 - 2018/4/17

N2 - In "building your portfolio", building is what linguists call a conceptual metaphor: the investor does not literally pile up his assets like they were bricks, but "building" is used as a metaphor for putting together elements. We could therefore also say "cooking", "sewing" or "weaving" your portfolio, as these are also activities that involve putting together elements to make your life comfortable. Conceptual metaphors make some aspects of the topic at hand salient, and hide others. Metaphors create imagery and induce affect. As the latter is shown to influence risk perception and return expectations, it is worthwhile to study metaphors in stock market reporting. In this paper we identify the metaphors in newspaper articles on the stock market both during a crash and in “normal” times. We find that both in the general and the financialpress journalists use many metaphors, that these come from a limited number of source domains, and that the latter are predominantly masculine, thus “priming” readers with certain aspects of investing. We speculate that this may create positive affect among men, not women, and bias masculine investors toward excess trading. If so, stock market reporting in newspapers could contribute to the gender difference in stated risk tolerance, financial risk taking, stock market participation and (excess) trading. We suggest further research to verify this.

AB - In "building your portfolio", building is what linguists call a conceptual metaphor: the investor does not literally pile up his assets like they were bricks, but "building" is used as a metaphor for putting together elements. We could therefore also say "cooking", "sewing" or "weaving" your portfolio, as these are also activities that involve putting together elements to make your life comfortable. Conceptual metaphors make some aspects of the topic at hand salient, and hide others. Metaphors create imagery and induce affect. As the latter is shown to influence risk perception and return expectations, it is worthwhile to study metaphors in stock market reporting. In this paper we identify the metaphors in newspaper articles on the stock market both during a crash and in “normal” times. We find that both in the general and the financialpress journalists use many metaphors, that these come from a limited number of source domains, and that the latter are predominantly masculine, thus “priming” readers with certain aspects of investing. We speculate that this may create positive affect among men, not women, and bias masculine investors toward excess trading. If so, stock market reporting in newspapers could contribute to the gender difference in stated risk tolerance, financial risk taking, stock market participation and (excess) trading. We suggest further research to verify this.

KW - conceptual metaphors

KW - imagery

KW - affect

KW - FAMILIARITY

KW - risk perception

KW - gender

M3 - Discussion paper

VL - 2018-014

T3 - CentER Discussion Paper

BT - Can Words Breed or Kill Investment? Metaphors, Imagery, Affect and Investor Behaviour

PB - CentER, Center for Economic Research

CY - Tilburg

ER -

Prast H, Sanders J, Leonhard O. Can Words Breed or Kill Investment? Metaphors, Imagery, Affect and Investor Behaviour. Tilburg: CentER, Center for Economic Research. 2018 Apr 17. (CentER Discussion Paper).