Examination of the Relationship between Psychological Traits and the Consumer Confidence Index

Author Name SEKIZAWA Yoichi  (Senior Fellow, RIETI) /YOSHITAKE Naomi  (Ochanomizu University) /GOTO Yasuo  (Senior Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. November 2013 13-J-074
Research Project Research Project on Mental Health from the Perspective of Human Capital
Download / Links


Research in psychology and neuroscience has shown that negative emotions such as depression and anxiety lead to pessimistic risk estimates, while positive emotions such as happiness lead to optimistic risk estimates. We examined whether such trend is observed in the relationship between emotions and the consumer confidence index (CCI). We also examined the relationship between other psychological traits and the CCI.

By constructing a multiple regression using the cross sectional data of 6,405 people, we found that higher levels of depressive symptoms are associated with lower levels of the CCI, whereas higher levels of optimism, life satisfaction, and general trust are associated with higher levels of the CCI. We also found that negative emotions are associated with lower levels of the CCI while positive emotions are associated with higher levels of the CCI.

Through analyzing the panel data at three time points with a one-month interval each on 469 people, the result of abovementioned study was replicated except for depressive symptoms. We found that changes in the depressive symptoms do not directly lead to changes in the CCI, however, it was suggested that these may occur indirectly through the changes in the levels of life satisfaction, optimism, positive emotions, and negative emotions.