How is a footballer like a day trader? Boys Behaving Badly

Appalling behaviour among our ‘gladiator’ footballers raises the questions not just of how do they get away with it through their codes of silence and the enabling of those around them, but why they believe this is ok in the first place. It seems that testosterone is more powerful, and perhaps more dangerous than people have previously thought. Paul Pearsall and Norman Doidge have written about the power of hormones on neurophysiology.

The emerging science of ‘behavioural economics’ is now showing that hormones like testosterone and cortisol may be causing supposedly rational traders to make irrational decisions. Could ignoring human biology be a risky business?

Dr John Coates has found in his research on day trading and financial markets that the waves of irrational exuberance and pessimism that destabilise the financial markets may be driven by naturally produced steroid hormones. With receptors in almost every nucleated cell in the body, steroids such as testosterone and cortisol affect the moods we experience, the memories we store and recall, and the behaviour we display in competitive and risk-taking situations.

James Bone in his Diary of a Day Trader writes A tongue-in-cheek story about the new ‘Responsible Investment Academy’ set up by Senator Nick Sherry in which he states The senator seems sublimely unaware that noone invests responsibly in the Asia-Pacific region. ‘Has it escaped his attention that irresponsible investments make far more money than responsible ones.

So- is football different to day trading in the production of testosterone that leads to such dangerously anti-social behaviour? Then again, is the speculative development that occurs in NSW (as opposed to responsible investing) any different- or just another example of people behaving very badly!

Maybe not. It’s not just ‘naughty boy behaviour’ but something far more sinister. If Dr Mehmet Oz is right and our genetic structure can be influenced by hormones, then maybe the ‘winner at all costs’ game itself is causing this behaviour to flourish. If so, where are we headed? Maybe estrogen patches for footballers!!!!!


About jboydedu

The Australian Centre for Sustainability Literacy is a division of Julie Boyd and Associates, who have been working for three decades to educate students in becoming positively contributing world citizens. We use a careful integration of solid research and evidence from a broad range of fields across education, community, business and leadership to support the 7th Generation concept which says that all decisions need to be made for the benefit of 7 generations forward.
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