Experimental evidence has consistently confirmed the ability of uninformed traders, even novices, to infer information from the trading process. After contrasting brain activation in subjects watching markets with and without insiders, we hypothesize that Theory of Mind (ToM) helps explain this pattern, where ToM refers to the human capacity to discern malicious or benevolent intent. We find that skill in predicting price changes in markets with insiders correlates with scores on two ToM tests. We document GARCH-like persistence in transaction price changes that may help investors read markets when there are insiders.
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