Animal Spirits

Definition of 'Animal Spirits'


A term used by John Maynard Keynes used in one of his economics books. In his 1936 publication, "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money," the term "animal spirits" is used to describe human emotion that drives consumer confidence. According to Keynes, animal spirits also generate human trust.

Investopedia explains 'Animal Spirits'


There has been a resurgence of interest in the idea of animal spirits in recent years. Several books and articles have been published on this topic. Keynes believed that animal spirits were necessary to motivate people to take positive action.



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