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  • How do you stop yourself??

    Hey all,

    Seeing trading is linked to behaviour patterns in almost everything, how do YOU stop yourself from doing stupid things??!?! Im driving myself up the wall being my own worst enemy!! Anyone got any tips on re learning behaviour??

    If i go over a certain amount in one race as far as loss goes i hit self distruct and blow days weeks, months worth of profit thinking about getting it back ahhhhhh!
    Edges are ten-a-penny, execution is everything

    Read My FULL-TIME Racing Traders Blog Here!!
    T F YouTube

  • #2
    Just seen this and thought it was relevant...

    Schedules of reinforcement (skinner - phsycologist)

    Skinner likes to tell about how he “accidentally -- i.e. operantly -- came across his various discoveries. For example, he talks about running low on food pellets in the middle of a study. Now, these were the days before “Purina rat chow” and the like, so Skinner had to make his own rat pellets, a slow and tedious task. So he decided to reduce the number of reinforcements he gave his rats for whatever behavior he was trying to condition, and, lo and behold, the rats kept up their operant behaviors, and at a stable rate, no less. This is how Skinner discovered schedules of reinforcement!

    Continuous reinforcement is the original scenario: Every time that the rat does the behavior (such as pedal-pushing), he gets a rat goodie.

    The fixed ratio schedule was the first one Skinner discovered: If the rat presses the pedal three times, say, he gets a goodie. Or five times. Or twenty times. Or “x” times. There is a fixed ratio between behaviors and reinforcers: 3 to 1, 5 to 1, 20 to 1, etc. This is a little like “piece rate” in the clothing manufacturing industry: You get paid so much for so many shirts.

    The fixed interval schedule uses a timing device of some sort. If the rat presses the bar at least once during a particular stretch of time (say 20 seconds), then he gets a goodie. If he fails to do so, he doesn’t get a goodie. But even if he hits that bar a hundred times during that 20 seconds, he still only gets one goodie! One strange thing that happens is that the rats tend to “pace” themselves: They slow down the rate of their behavior right after the reinforcer, and speed up when the time for it gets close.

    Skinner also looked at variable schedules. Variable ratio means you change the “x” each time -- first it takes 3 presses to get a goodie, then 10, then 1, then 7 and so on. Variable interval means you keep changing the time period -- first 20 seconds, then 5, then 35, then 10 and so on.

    In both cases, it keeps the rats on their rat toes. With the variable interval schedule, they no longer “pace” themselves, because they can no longer establish a “rhythm” between behavior and reward. Most importantly, these schedules are very resistant to extinction. It makes sense, if you think about it. If you haven’t gotten a reinforcer for a while, well, it could just be that you are at a particularly “bad” ratio or interval! Just one more bar press, maybe this’ll be the one!

    This, according to Skinner, is the mechanism of gambling. You may not win very often, but you never know whether and when you’ll win again. It could be the very next time, and if you don’t roll them dice, or play that hand, or bet on that number this once, you’ll miss on the score of the century!

    Maybe i should by one those dog collars that zap ya when ya do the wrong thing!! ... would appear i forget how bad 'having a sod it lay' can be after a month or so pfffft
    Last edited by Caan Berry; 11 January 2011, 10:30 PM. Reason: spelling
    Edges are ten-a-penny, execution is everything

    Read My FULL-TIME Racing Traders Blog Here!!
    T F YouTube

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    • #3
      I have been having the same problem and I feel that I'm getting closer to changing myself. What I was doing was, opened a stupid position in a market, small loss because I am closing fast nowadays, but, I got pissed because it was a stupid position, opened another stupid position because I was pissed and couldn't analyse the market well, another loss, next one I do analyse the market well, but I can't get the losses back with just 2 ticks or 3 ticks, I let the market run in profit hoping for more instead of taking what it's giving me and it goes against me, more loss. End result would be frustration, a big loss and more losses on the next races because my ability to analyse the markets was impaired.

      Possible ways to correct it... Sit back on the chair, be patient, do not open stupid positions, analyse only. Don't have a clue about what the market might do next? Don't enter it, wait until it looks familiar, forget the damn money. If you do have an idea about what it's doing, forget about the money and watch it closely until you find that you can enter with a very small risk of it going against you. When you do enter, think about where the market can go next after reaching your entry point. Got losses? Could be worse, don't make them bigger, sit back again, take a deep breath, next race. Forget the money and analyse. Feeling emotional about the loss? Don't enter. Next market. Still feeling emotional? There's more tomorrow.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think most are finding it harder at the moment and its more a case of learning to be content with whats on offer.I know i have found it hard to get motivated at present.Frustration must play a big part when you know your capabilties but the opportunities are not consistently there at the moment.One decent looking day then the next ones not appealing.Kind of stop and start.It will come good again in time.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TRADER68 View Post
          I think most are finding it harder at the moment and its more a case of learning to be content with whats on offer.I know i have found it hard to get motivated at present.Frustration must play a big part when you know your capabilties but the opportunities are not consistently there at the moment.One decent looking day then the next ones not appealing.Kind of stop and start.It will come good again in time.
          I hope so lol, i think i must forget over time about having a lay... im so frustrated with myself its driving me up the wall, worst thing is my trading ability is not even a problem if i didnt get a sulk on when i blow more than £50 in a market... but now im gonna have to start with a smaller bank again, the vicious circle continues!!
          Edges are ten-a-penny, execution is everything

          Read My FULL-TIME Racing Traders Blog Here!!
          T F YouTube

          Comment


          • #6
            I also have a problem with self-control, hate losing money and sometimes don't close the position when the market is obviously against me. Such behaviour reminds me that episode from Austin Powers:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLlUgilKqms

            That's why I'm looking forward to see the Stop Loss function in the Toy. Sometimes I just can't press the button myself.

            Comment


            • #7
              Brotherhood of stupidity

              Don't get me wrong, but I am glad to see I'm not the only one with impulse issues.

              I can trade a few a races with greens and small reds and then as soon as a real loss occurs I go in play and lose lots.

              This forum obviously has competent traders and sometimes it can become frustrating thinking I'm the only one who wanders and cannot trade as efficiently as I would like. It dawned on me today that I am entering markets and taking random positions and waiting for the market to move. I still haven't nailed down my indicators before entry with the net result that I end up chasing back the losses in some ridiculous way. Luckily , and by accident things swung right for me today but my only proper trade (backed high, laid low and only one bet on each side) was the one that I actually used some logic in.

              Do the successful guys get to the stage where they are not even consciously making decisions, appearing to act on impulse but actually acting on experience and subliminal market knowledge ?

              God, I would love to get there and any pointers / indicators would be gratefully received!

              Anyway Chuck, keep the head up, we'll get there eventually (I really need to believe this).

              Comment


              • #8
                The thing that has gotten me into trouble the last week or so (wrote it on here somewhere, anyway, 2 losses, 7600 and 9900) is longer term trading.
                If I have a 1000 liability, I am happy to turn that into 50 profit. Only risking so 1000 so all good. If the price keeps going and I re lay it to bump down my average odds, that 50 profit suddenly isn't looking as good, by the time I dig a 10k hole and the average odds are miniscule, I am eyeing off the 60-100k worth of lays, and taking 50 profit seems a lifetime ago in comparison with the 500-1k per tick. I mean why take 50 bucks, when 1 more tick will give you 700? Why take 700 if you can wait out 1 more tick and pull in 1400?

                Once I get that out of my system, all will be well. Well, better.

                Comment


                • #9
                  have the same problem chuck, but believe the stop loss would be a great help in takeing losses sooner.

                  (just because your not paranoid, doesn't mean there not out to get you)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Temujin View Post
                    Once I get that out of my system, all will be well. Well, better.
                    Therein lies the rub!


                    What's helping me loads at the moment is learning about my triggers for certain behaviours (good and bad) namely motivation.

                    Stuff like positive re-inforcement is a good place to start - as well as ditching phrases like "I musn't do that" (negative behaviour) and replacing it with "I must do this instead". e.g. physically patting yourself on the back when you've taken £50 red at the off because it was a good thing to do!

                    As most trading books we've read say that anyone with basic maths can become a successful trader if they've got the right psychological approach, it unfortunately means that 98% of us need to change/improve our mental approach. For me this means one thing only: learning to change my motivation = a change in behaviour = $$$$$$$$

                    Blimey. Impossible? I've been like I am since I was a kid - how the hell do you perform a
                    psycological about turn at 30?

                    One thing becomes very clear. Sitting on my arse hoping it will change because i'm aware I need to improve results in more frustration.

                    The only way to go for me was to get strategic and find some tools to help me. This involved plenty of reading, not all of it was useful but by far the best was and still is this:

                    http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_d...id=9825&cn=353

                    This whole chapter is packed with concise and practical info. Start at "Methods for changing behaviours and thoughts" and continue from there. If you're serious about going pro at some point and one or two negative behaviours are preventing you moving forward then don't just read the info - follow the tools! I promise it will make a difference. It is for me. Not just in trading but it's opened my eyes to my behaviours in other walks of life too.

                    Sorry if this sounded preachy but I can't overstate what a good starting point the link takes you to, if you want to answer the question chuck asks in the title of this thread.

                    p.s. good thread chuck.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by thebarron View Post
                      have the same problem chuck, but believe the stop loss would be a great help in takeing losses sooner.

                      (just because your not paranoid, doesn't mean there not out to get you)
                      I can see certain benefits of a stop loss.For me if i was taking an early position and didnt want to spend all morning keeping an eye on it or if something happened while in a trade that forced me to leave the screen for a short time(toilet etc.).I also cant say there wouldnt be benefits of a stop loss in other markets where i have no experience.
                      On the other hand its the same mind controlling the stop.Where do you choose to place it.If your willing to take a quick small loss,i reckon there will be plenty guys with bigger banks who will happily trigger it for you.Put it out of range and the big loss is still there.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by chuck536 View Post
                        ... im so frustrated with myself its driving me up the wall, worst thing is my trading ability is not even a problem if i didnt get a sulk on when i blow more than £50 in a market...
                        What's the cause of this sulk? Obviously Greed. Now what's the most powerful weapon against Greed? Obviously Charity! The richest nation in the world - the Jews have an old rule - to donate one tenth of their monthly profit to the poor. According to the ancient Cabbalah Giving is even more pleasant than Receiving.
                        Maybe you should also start losing intentionally, say, 50 quid each time you earn a few hundred. So if you have a bad race and get out with a big red, you'll just say: "Sorry guys, I wanted to make a donation today but you've had enough already. Maybe next time!" But remember, if you are too greedy and don't donate for a long time, you might lose all you've earned so far!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You need to look at the mistakes you're continually making and analyse the real reasons why you're repeating them. Some behaviours are so inherent you'll never completely remove them but you can possibly reduce them.

                          So many people have problems with trading because it's boring winning small amounts here and there, especially when you hit on a winning strategy and doing little more than clicking a mouse all day. It's only natural to want a bit of excitement because for most people this is just a hobby and hobbys are meant to be fun, so subconciously we let the odd few go in running, look for that extra tick etc just to get the adrenaline pumping .

                          I see hundreds of posts and blogs by traders stating they know they can crack it if only they stopped this or that, and the simple fact is they probably could if they could accept the humdrum day to day reality of making money trading.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A lot depends on how you trade the markets and how well you understand the markets you trade. Swing traders will be happier taking a bigger loss than scalpers but many scalpers let the trades run away from them whilst being happy taking 1 or 2 tic gains when the market runs for them, which we all know wont be profitable and will, probably, induce the mind into letting a trade go in play. This brings even more problems because if the trade goes in play and a minimal profit is on offer early they'll probably take it but when the market continues against them they'll wait/pray (the rabbit in the headlights syndrome) and probably end up losing their bank or at least a large chunk of it then the 'chase' begins with no thought or plan!
                            You need a trading plan and 'teach' yourself to stick to it and show yourself over time those losses are just part and parcel of trading and over the long term you know you'll come out ahead, one race, one day, one trade is just a miniscule part of your plan and if you've taken a red due to a 2 tic loss and the market has then gone the way you thought it would you've still been correct in taking the loss because you know, due to experience, it could quite easily have gone 20 tics against you whilst you sat and prayed. You have to stick to what you know works and always stay with what you know works the biggest problems arise when traders don't have a long term plan then they let losses run and know they have no chance of recovering such a big loss so then haphazardly make trades/guesses and put themselves out of the game.
                            I still look to the ball in the bag analogy, old i know but true, if there's 1000 balls in a bag and 600 are red and 400 are blue and you're picking out the red balls by the time the bags empty you know you'll have the most balls but during the pick 10, 20 or even 30 blue balls may come out consecutively so you must stay in the game to come out on top. Good luck all.

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                            • #15
                              you are always going to get some markets completely wrong. As you get more experienced I think you just recognise when you have completely messed the market up quicker and change your angle. What I try and do is rather than say right I am going to double up and dig myself out of this I take a step back and pick less trades before I get to the point where I get frustrated and do something stupid. Recognising a bad market for you and taking no trades than random speculation is where you want to get to. If you do get to that arse up point though you've just got to say to yourself however bad you think you have just arsed it up it can always be much much worse if you chase.

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