“Superstitious behavior arises when the delivery of a reinforcer or punisher occurs close together in time (temporal contiguity) with an independent behavior. Therefore, the behavior is accidentally reinforced or punished, increasing the likelihood of that behavior occurring again.”
It has always been my contention that traders are some of the most superstitious people in existence. What I find interesting however, is the objects or patterns of behavior that people fixate on to manifest their superstitious beliefs.
When I was on the floor, I witnessed traders using specific stalls in the bathroom, walking into the pit the same way every morning, lucky pens and the universal superstitious object - the lucky tie. There were traders that didn’t shave when they were on a streak, and I’m sure ( although I really don’t want to know) there were traders who didn’t change their underwear when they were on a hot streak.
So, I think it would be interesting to conduct an informal poll on traders’ patterns of behavior as a result of their superstitious beliefs.
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