Denis Hilton Professor of Social Psychology University of Toulouse

Since 1998, Denis Hilton is a professor of social psychology at the University of Toulouse and has researched and taught at universities and business schools in the UK, USA, Germany and France.

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He also held invited positions at universities in Australia, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

His research interests are in social cognition, reasoning, judgment and decision-making as well as experimental economics. He has been a periodic visitor to Planet Finance ever since he was asked some twenty years ago to write a report on the applications of psychology for the City of London, which was later published as an article, a book chapter as well as an executive summary. In the early years of the millennium, he was introduced as “the man who predicted the end of LIFFE” (a now extinct future exchange), and until 2007 gave regular lectures to bankers on the perils of overconfidence with an effect that now all can see. After the crash, the bankers’ attention turned to regulations and his turned to other things, such as using psychology to promote sustainable consumption.

However, he has kept an interest in the psychology of finance, and now that psychology is being nudged back into this field, his visits begun again. His most recent publication on these topics is for the proceedings of a recent meeting on behavioural economics at the Bank of Italy, and is a psycho-historical account of how well-known cognitive biases in both finance professionals and consumers contributed to the 2007/2008 crash. It draws extensively on a book on the psychology of finance written (in French) by Caroline Attia in 2013, a former trader at the Société Générale.