Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Eric Hughson

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Rights Information

2016 Iris Liu



In this paper, we examine the behavior of subjects in a mock financial investment experiment to investigate the effects of “skin in the game” and ego utility on hedonic information acquisition decisions. We observe how often subjects “check” their portfolios after given general market returns, and whether conditions impact the existence and magnitude of the ostrich effect – the tendency to avoid information expected to be negative. When considering these experiment conditions as well as subject sex, risk aversion, curiosity, financial literacy and investing experience, we do not find an ostrich effect. We do find that females check their portfolios more often on average than males. Finally, we find that risk-averse people will check their portfolios more often, regardless of market returns or sex.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.