Asymmetric Updating of Reference Prices

Investors who track stock price fluctuations report feeling negatively about breaking even if their stock reaches a high point and then stabilizes to the level of the original investment. On the other hand, investors whose stock reaches a low point and then returns to the original level do not report feeling comparably positively. Although in both cases investors end up with equivalent portfolios, we observe significant differences in how investors assess their performance due to the asymmetric updating of reference prices. Our results indicate this is due to feeling ownership over a stock’s paper gains but not its paper losses.


Susan Jung Grant and Ying Xie (2008) ,"Asymmetric Updating of Reference Prices", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 198-200.


Susan Jung Grant, University of Colorado, Boulder
Ying Xie, Washington University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Perceptions of Epistemic vs. Aleatory Uncertainty Affect Stock Investment

Daniel Walters, INSEAD, France
Gulden Ulkumen, University of Southern California, USA
Carsten Erner, FS Card
David Tannebaum, University of Utah, USA
Craig Fox, University of California Los Angeles, USA

Read More


Explaining the Attraction Effect: An Ambiguity-Attention-Applicability Framework

Sharlene He, Concordia University, Canada
Brian Sternthal, Northwestern University, USA

Read More


G6. Brightness Increases More Positive Views of Humanity and Prosocial Behavior of People Low in Moral Identity Internalization

Jun Yan, University of Manitoba, Canada
Luke Zhu, University of Manitoba, Canada
Fang Wan, University of Manitoba, Canada

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.