At the risk of offending the majority of the forum I believe this is also one reason for the disproportionate rate of violence against women from male partners. A man’s deeply ingrained desire not to be wrong. I do know it is a far more complex issue with a vast array of dynamics but it does apply to the psychology of trading.
I need to examine within myself anytime there is fear since it will manifest as violence, or more generally, an emotional response rather than a rational one.
I think this is a key point in evolving as a trader is acknowledging the reality of a situation without fear or anxiety so that it can be reacted to as best as possible in the moment.
As a Buddhist I find that once I have placed my trade I give up on a desire for a specific outcome. I do not let the trade cause me anxiety or suffering. My stop loss or my take profit will be reached no matter what anxiety I put myself through. As a result I do not let my winners run, despite that being a strategy that is espoused by the vast majority of successful traders. I do not trade my peace of mind for a dream of the huge win.
A very personal way of looking at life and trading. I find trading is a great metaphor for many things in life. Certainly not a view that I would encourage for anyone else, but it is right for me so that I can trade without having a tantrum.
I think we have some similarities. I had a long term successful trader train me over many years (Dad). When I was young he gave me a choice, did I want a trust fund so I can sit around and spend my days shopping, or did I want to learn how to make my own money. It took me a while to take in that he was serious and it was an either or situation. A trade if you will.
He continued from there simply posing questions, a completely Socratic approach, so that I could discover for myself what was going on in the world of finance, stocks, commodities, currencies, bonds, politics, central banks, all of it.
We went through the indicators (MACD, ADX, SMA, EMA, Ichimoku, etc.) and I would trade with a small live account of $500. Then he would ask me questions, does it work, how do you know if it worked or not, why does it not work. It went on until I decided to either never use an indicator or had a system of indicators that worked.
We looked at the bars, candlesticks, Heiken Ashi, Renko, Kagi, etc and again came the questions so that I had to enunciate a clear coherent answer to him (and more importantly to myself) about why I was taking a specific action.
Always trading manually with a small dollar real account and suffering the losses along the way so that the impact of the losses could be felt. That my concepts about failing to please him in someway could be understood and put into perspective. That our love for one another was not contingent upon my knowing which way the GBP was going move. It may sound silly now, but these emotions all popped up at one time or another. But he had the patience and knowledge of a great teacher to allow me to experience all of trading.
He might ask me about Paul Tudor Jones’ quote “losers average losers” and ask if it was true. Then we would come back a month later and discuss the actual results (it is true, do not average down, the exception being a long term investment in an index fund with monthly contributions).
We also did a time of testing random trade entries, similar to the Tom Basso experiment, so that I could learn about the importance of exits rather than entries. I could go on and on, the reading and review of text books, the review of every Warren Buffet annual report, but all this is far too long to discuss here.
I really have gotten off track, back to the idea of risk aversion between men and women. An example from today. I took a long position in sugar early this morning. I do not trade commodities that often put it looked like that after a small pull back a trend was going to resume, on the other hand there is a good chance that it is entering a period of consolidation will range for a while. I adjusted my risk amount as a result. While I read about these fixed percentages being bandied about, I adjust my risk for every trade based on the statistical probability of my being correct. In this case I only risked 1/4 of 1%, or 0.0025 of my account. A number that is so small that I have never seen it mentioned on this board. I will raise my risk as high as 2% in theory, but that would be a rare event with exceptionally high probability.
Summary; once I place a trade I do not have emotions about it, had a teacher that questioned me on everything about trading, I adjust my risk based on the statistical confidence of the setup.