The role of recognition-based heuristics in investment management activities: are expert investors immune? – A systematic literature review

Maqsood Ahmad

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to systematically review the literature published in recognized journals focused on recognition-based heuristics and their effect on investment management activities and to ascertain some substantial gaps related to them. Design/methodology/approach: For doing research synthesis, systematic literature review approach was applied considering research studies published within the time period, i.e. 1980–2020. This study attempted to accomplish a critical review of 59 studies out of 118 studies identified, which were published in reputable journals to synthesize the existing literature in the behavioural finance domain-related explicitly to recognition-based heuristics and their effect on investment management activities. Findings: The survey and analysis suggest investors consistently rely on the recognition-based heuristic-driven biases when trading stocks, resulting in irrational decisions, and an investment strategy constructed by implementing the recognition-based heuristics, would not result in better returns to investors on a consistent basis. Institutional investors are less likely to be affected by these name-based behavioural biases in comparison to individual investors. However, under the context of ecological rationality, recognition-based heuristics work better and sometimes dominate the classical methods. The research scholars from the behavioural finance community have highlighted that recognition-based heuristics and their impact on investment management activities are high profile areas, needed to be explored further in the field of behavioural finance. The study of recognition-based heuristic-driven biases has been found to be insufficient in the context of emerging economies like Pakistan. Practical implications: The skilful understanding and knowledge of the recognition-based heuristic-driven biases will help the investors, financial institutions and policy-makers to overcome the adverse effect of these behavioural biases in the stock market. This article provides a detailed explanation of recognition-based heuristic-driven biases and their influence on investment management activities which could be very useful for finance practitioners’ such as investor who plays at the stock exchange, a portfolio manager, a financial strategist/advisor in an investment firm, a financial planner, an investment banker, a trader/ broker at the stock exchange or a financial analyst. But most importantly, the term also includes all those persons who manage corporate entities and are responsible for making its financial management strategies. Originality/value: Currently, no recent study exists, which reviews and evaluates the empirical research on recognition-based heuristic-driven biases displayed by investors. The current study is original in discussing the role of recognition-based heuristic-driven biases in investment management activities by means of research synthesis. This paper is useful to researchers, academicians, and those working in the area of behavioural finance in understanding the role that recognition-based heuristics plays in investment management activities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Research in Financial Markets
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 2021


  • Alphabetical ordering
  • Investment management activities
  • Name fluency
  • Name memorability
  • Recognition-based heuristics
  • Research synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance


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