What is Financial Behaviour? Learn Different Types of Behaviours

What is Financial Behaviour? Learn Different Types of Behaviours

Financial behaviour plays a crucial role in our everyday lives, shaping our financial decisions, spending habits, and investment strategies. It encompasses the psychological, cognitive, and emotional factors that influence how individuals manage their finances. 

Understanding financial behaviour meaning is key to making informed decisions, avoiding common pitfalls, and achieving financial well-being. 

In this article, we will explore the concept of financial behaviour, its underlying components, factors affecting it, and its implications for individuals and society as a whole.

Understanding Financial behaviour 

Financial behaviour is influenced by a range of factors, such as personal values, beliefs, emotions, socioeconomic status, and cultural norms. It is shaped by psychological biases, cognitive limitations, and social influences. Comprehending financial behaviour meaning  is crucial as it affects individuals' financial well-being and outcomes. 

By recognizing the underlying motivations, biases, and cognitive processes that drive financial behaviour, individuals can make informed decisions and develop healthy financial habits.It recognizes that individuals are prone to cognitive biases, emotional influences, and social factors that can affect their financial decision-making.

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Table of Content

  1. Understanding Financial behaviour 
  2. Behavioural Finance concepts
  3. Conclusion

Behavioural Finance concepts

Being aware of cognitive biases is crucial for investors and financial professionals. Few common behavioural concepts are explained below.

Mental accounting

Mental accounting is a concept in behavioural finance that refers to the tendency of individuals to mentally distinguish their financial resources and treat them differently based on arbitrary categories. Instead of considering money as a fungible resource, mental accounting suggests that people create separate mental accounts for various financial purposes, such as savings, investments, or everyday expenses.

Heard Behaviour

Herd behaviour is a significant concept in behavioural finance that describes the tendency of individuals to imitate the actions and decisions of a larger group or "herd" rather than making independent judgments. This behaviour can be observed in stock markets, where investors often follow the crowd without considering their own analysis or reasoning.

Emotional Gap

The emotional gap arises due to various emotional biases and influences that impact financial decision-making. For example, fear and greed are common emotions that can drive individuals to make irrational financial choices. Fear of losses can lead to excessive risk aversion, causing individuals to miss out on potential gains. Greed, on the other hand, can push individuals to take on excessive risks in pursuit of high returns.


Anchoring is a cognitive bias in financial behaviour that refers to the tendency of individuals to rely heavily on an initial piece of information when making subsequent judgments or decisions. The initial information acts as a mental anchor that influences the individual's perception of value or risk, even if the anchor is arbitrary or irrelevant to the decision at hand.

Self Attribution 

When individuals experience financial success, they often attribute it to their own skills, intelligence, or expertise. They believe that their good decisions and actions were responsible for the positive outcome. On the other hand, when individuals face financial losses or negative outcomes, they tend to attribute them to external factors beyond their control, such as market volatility or unexpected events. They view these setbacks as temporary and unrelated to their own abilities or decisions.

Decision Making errors & biases

There are numerous decision-making errors and biases that can influence individuals' choices and judgments. Here are some common ones:

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias in the financial market refers to the tendency of investors and market participants to selectively seek, interpret, and remember information that supports their existing beliefs or biases about the market, investments, or specific securities. This bias can significantly impact decision-making and market behaviour.

Recency bias

It is a common bias observed in various domains, including financial decision-making, investment strategies, and even everyday life choices.

When individuals exhibit recency bias, they prioritise and give more significance to information that is more recent in their memory. This bias can lead to an overemphasis on recent experiences, news, or trends, while discounting or neglecting older or historical data. 

Loss aversion

Loss aversion is rooted in the prospect theory, which suggests that individuals weigh potential gains and losses differently. Studies have shown that losses are typically felt about twice as strongly as gains of the same magnitude. As a result, investors may be more inclined to avoid or mitigate losses rather than maximising potential gains.

Familiarity bias

Familiarity bias, also known as the home bias, in the financial market refers to the tendency of investors to prefer investing in familiar or domestic assets rather than diversifying their portfolios globally. This bias can have implications for portfolio construction, risk management, and potential returns.


Behavioural finance challenges the traditional assumptions of rationality and efficiency in financial markets, highlighting the role of cognitive biases such as overconfidence, loss aversion, and herding behaviour in driving market outcomes. By understanding financial behaviour meaning and  behavioural biases, investors and financial professionals can make better-informed decisions, mitigate risks, and potentially capitalise on market inefficiencies.

Behavioural finance also emphasises the importance of investor education, self-awareness, and disciplined decision-making to overcome these biases and achieve long-term financial goals.

What is Financial behaviour FAQs

The financial Behaviour meaning denotes cognitive factors that influence financial decisions and behaviours. It explores how emotions, biases, and heuristics impact decision-making processes in the realm of finance.

Yes, understanding biases helps investors make better decisions and capitalise on market inefficiencies.

No, behavioural finance recognizes both rational and irrational elements in markets, providing a more comprehensive understanding of market dynamics.

Loss aversion, confirmation bias, and herd mentality are examples of common biases.

Overcoming biases requires self-awareness, discipline, diversification, clear goals, seeking professional advice, and continuous education.