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Symbolic Acts can Achieve Real Results

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Last week my daughter asked me why we had to clean the house so thoroughly for the upcoming Passover festival, “can’t we just do the usual clean”? I replied that not only is the biblical commandment to rid our households of chametz (5 grains that rise when mixed with water forming “leaven”) but there is the symbolic act of riding ourselves of “leaven”(arrogance) that may have become part of our daily lives, so I answered we have to do that little bit extra this time.

For a teenager and for many adults it can be very difficult to understand that a physical ritual can move symbolic energy from a place deep in our psyche to a place of wholeness. I feel myself fighting the desire to go into a deep analytical discourse on symbolism, as I fear the subject is not everyone’s cup of tea.

The takeaway I wish to share is that there are many behavioural biases that we are not aware of, but through our alert -> suggestion model we can perhaps create symbolic ritual that will help move us from overconfident / fearful / greedy / … traders to more balanced more profitable traders.

Here is an example I would love to one day try and see how it translates:

  • Trader has a ridiculously risky trade on almost certainly going to result in an account blow-up
  • Alert triggers with suggestions
  • A pop up window with a bunch of dollar notes appears, a match appears at the bottom with a button – “Strike”

I personally believe the psychology behind the symbolic act of burning the $$$ will neutralise the need to do some adrenalin seeking risky trading; you get the picture.


Accounting for Mental Accounting Research Philosophy