Market Psychology

"Whether you're ahead or behind at the moment--and whether the averages are up or down--" writes Mark Appleman, "the stock market is only 25 percent financial, 75 percent psychological." During the last century or so, this imbalance of financial and psychological influences has produced an interesting sub-genre of psychological and psychoanalytical texts about the stock market. Our current exhibit includes samples from the mundane field of "self-help" to the arcane theoretical realm. In each of these works, one central theme resonates continually: "know thyself," as Socrates said. Indeed, as the more contemporary writer known by the pseudonym of "Adam Smith" has maintained, "If you don't know who you are, this [the stock market] is an expensive place to find out."

Appleman, Mark J. The Winning Habit: How Your Personality Makes You a Winner Or a Loser in the Stock Market. New York: McCall, 1970.

Dedicated to helping investors know themselves, The Winning Habit surveys almost a dozen "case histories" of typical winners large and small, promising that "while you may be amused at recognizing some of your friends, you may also catch yourself squirming at reflections of your own moments of market truth.." Whether you come to associate yourself the strongest with the "Market Masochist" or the "Can't Loser" Appleman hopes to help make your road to self discovery a profitable experience. First edition with dust jacket.

Bergler, Edmund, M.D., The Psychology of Gambling. New York: Hill and Wang, 1957.

"This is a book about people who gamble. . . . It explains why even the man with the 'perfect system' can't win, and why such speculator-gamblers like Ivar Kreuger invariably fail in the end. . . With interesting case histories and stimulating discussion, Dr. Bergler show how psychoanalysis reveals the underlying neurotic motives of the confirmed gambler and sometimes effects a cure. Dr. Bergler in this fascinating book answers questions about a subject that intrigues us all, for, he claims, everyone in our culture is a potential gambler." Hardbound edition with dust jacket.

Borneman, Ernest, The Psychoanalysis of Money. New York: Urizen Books, 1976.

"this is the first attempt to bring together some of the major works in psychoanalytic literature on the origin and nature of money and to provide a critical commentary on them. Some of [the writings collected here] have been out of print for many years, while others, originally published in journals, are not readily accessible and have never been reprinted. In his extensive introduction and his postscript "The Midas Complex," Borneman discusses the entire range of problems connected with the major divisions of this book: (I) "The Anal Theory of Money"; (II) "cultural-Historical, Archeological, and Ethnological Studies on the Psychoanalytic Theory of Money"; and (III) "Psychoanalytic Studies of Money Outside the Realm of Anal Theory." Contributers include Sigmund Freud, Sandor Ferenczi, Isador H. Coriat, Karl Abraham, and many others.

Dreman, David N. Psychology and the Stock Market: Why the Pros Go Wrong and How to Profit. New York: Warner, 1979.

Written by a professional investor, this book claims to illuminate the "missing dimension" in most analyses of the stock market--psychology. Beginning with the premise that institutional investors actually underperform the market averages, Dreman speculates that the reasons they do so are psychologically based. Falling prey to "groupthink," these professional speculators ignore the psychological underpinnings of the market at the same time they contribute to them. This book purports to explain how "you can profit from the repeated patterns of other investor's mistakes." Paperback, first printing.

Haas, Albert, Jr. and Don D. Jackson, M.D. Bulls, Bears and Dr. Freud. New York: World, 1967.

Haas and Jackson's book examines many of the social relationships underpinning stock market psychology. For example, the brokers' relationship with his customer, the stock holder's marital status and its effect on his or her portfolio and other often overlooked socio-psychological market influences. Hardcover, first printing.

Harper, Henry Howard, The Psychology of Speculation:The Human Element in Stock Market Transactions. Cedar Rapids, IA: Torch Press, 1926.

Aninformative and entertaining early study pointing out some of the psychological "stumbling blocks and handicapping influences that speculators, even investors, are sure to encounter." Hardbound, privately printed, with Illustrations by Hayden Jones.

Kelly, Fred C. Why You Win Or Lose: The Psychology of Speculation. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1930.

This book is described by its author as "a study of crowd behavior, checked against known primary and secondary causes of market fluctuations and crowd reactions to these conditions." Written by one who claims to have spent the last several years (including 1929) in the market "without losing anything." Hardbound, first edition, with dust jacket.

Kelly, Fred C. and Sullivan Burgess. How Shrewd Speculators Win: A Guide to Behavior When the Market Rises. New York: Sears, 1932.

"Normal behavior is unsuited to speculative success," claims this book's introduction. And, under the rubric of bucking the crowd mentality, Kelly and Burgess provide a series of useful tips for outwitting the market without being oneself outwitted. Hardbound, first edition.

Rosenberg, Claude N., Jr. Psycho-Cybernetics and the Stock Market: The Key to Maximum Investment Profits and Peace of Mind. Chicago: Playboy Press, 1971.

This book "focuses on the significant emotional reactions which cause people consistently to make the wrong decisions in their market transactions." The term psycho-cybernetics "involves the use of 'constructive input' to enhance one's self image and performance." Hardbound, first edition, with dust jacket.

Selden, George C. Psychology of the Stock Market. New York: Ticker Publishing, 1925.

A groundbreaking study of investment psychology. When this book was originally published in 1912, Selden's idea that "movements of prices on the exchanges are dependent to a very considerable degree on the mental attitude of the investing and trading public" was still a novel notion. Hardbound.

Selden, George C. Psychology of the Stock Market. Wells, VT: Fraser, 1965.

This is a paperback reprinting of Selden's pioneer study of psychology and stock market price behavior.



Last Updated: 6/27/22