Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin >> Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät


Subproject A12

Contextual Influences on Risk Perception in Investment Decisions
Head of Project : Prof. Dr. Hauke Heekeren

+49 (0) 30 838 55715


+49 (0) 30 838 55778



Freie Universität Berlin
Affective Neuroscience and Psychology of Emotion
Department of Educational Science and Psychology Cluster Languages of Emotion
HabelschwerdterAllee 45
14195 Berlin, Germany



NameTitle Email
Brühl, HannahDr.



Economical decisions are often characterized by risk and uncertainty. Therefore the perception of risk and returns are central factors affecting economic behavior. How individuals make investments should depend on the perception of investments’ risk and returns. When aiming for a deeper understanding of how people handle risk, it is beneficial to go beyond a purely behavioral approach and explore the cognitive and in particular neurocognitive mechanisms underlying decisions.

In the proposed project we will investigate how people perceive the risk and the return of investments and how this perception is influenced by the context of the investment situation. The first subproject explores how people perceive investment assets that are verbally described by their expected return and the returns’ variance. The second subproject explores whether and how perception of risks and returns of investments changes when the investment is described in a portfolio context. The third subproject examines how the composition of investment options influences the perception of and the choice between the investment options, i.e. how the perception of and the choice between investment options are influenced when a third option is added to the original choice set. To explore our research questions it is essential to bring economic, psychological, and neuroscientific knowledge together. Therefore in this project, we will combine paradigms from behavioral economics and neurocognitive research to investigate people’s risk perception and risk preferences.

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