Eldad Nahmany points out a very interesting study in which subjects found that having nothing to do was an aversive state–so aversive that they preferred painful activity to no activity. The implications for trading in quiet environments are significant: With little movement to stocks, traders needing movement might gravitate toward bad trades over no trades. Such overtrading may not simply be a matter of poor discipline or lack of trading plans. Rather, it would be the result of a failure to tolerate inactivity.
“Emphasizing effort gives a child a variable that they can control,” Dweck explains. “They come to see themselves as in control of their success. Emphasizing natural intelligence takes it out of the child’s control, and it provides no good recipe for responding to a failure.”
How do you respond to setback? As challenge? As threat? By redoubling efforts? By abandoning them? Simple differences of mindset may account for large differences in the development of expertise.