Define: Behavioural Finance

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Behavioural Finance



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Full Definition of Behavioural Finance


Behavioural finance integrates ideas from the fields of individual and social psychology with classical financial theory to understand the performance of markets. Behavioural finance is closely related to behavioural economics. The key idea of behavioural finance is that market participants do not always make decisions rationally. Behavioural finance recognizes several deviations from rationality such as the use of heuristics, or rules of thumb; that framing or the way a problem is stated, can affect the decision made; and that biases exist. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky published the seminal ideas underpinning behavioural finance in their decision science research in the 1970s. Some of the best-known behavioural finance experts today include Richard Thaler, George Akerlof, and Robert Shiller. Behavioural finance represents a paradigm shift away from efficient market theory, which is still advocated by some prominent theorists, such as Eugene Fama. The 1987 Black Monday stock market crash is best explained from a behavioural finance perspective.


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Definition Sources


Definitions for Behavioural Finance are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 4th February, 2020