Exploration of the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and Behaviors Related to Financial Decisions

Tentative interface for one of the planned experiments.

Tentative interface for one of the planned experiments. 

This project explores factors that influence how people decide to "play the stock market" and will consider both environmental and cognitive factors.

Project is Not Currently Available

This project is currently on hold and will resume in the spring semester.  

Project description

The purpose of this research is to better understand the fear of missing out response. In particular, we are looking at this phenomenon within the context of buying and selling stocks. Specific aims will include exploring the influence of stock volatility, the number of stocks presented, whether one can sell their purchase, and so on.

This research is motivated by the increased number of retail investors that have entered the stock market alongside maladaptive behaviors related to these new investors.

Project outcome

Research assistants would have experience with methodological design, programming, data analysis, and (hopefully) manuscript preparation. Substantial contributions could lead to publications and a letter of recommendation as well as a greater knowledge about one's own susceptibility to factors that promote maladaptive behaviors.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About 3-5 months, but length can be longer if desired.
Start time Anytime 
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Research experience
Who is eligible All undergraduate students who have completed PSY 350

Core partners

  • Li Mei Chew

Project mentor

Joshua Redford



Phone: (716) 645-3651

Email: redford@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Read this article for a basic understanding of FOMO: Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out.
  • Read this article for a basic understanding of metamemory.
  • Introspect on factors that you consider important in directing retail investor behaviors. Develop at least two hypotheses.
  • Download the free community version of Livecode. You do not need to program, but you will need to be able to run and test programs on your own (e.g., personal laptop). Windows seems better suited for this than Apple.