Members in the Media
From: TIME

The Sunk Cost Fallacy Is Ruining Your Decisions. Here’s How

If you’ve ever let unworn clothes clutter your closet just because they were expensive, or followed through on plans you were dreading because you already bought tickets, you’re familiar with the sunk cost fallacy.

“The sunk cost effect is the general tendency for people to continue an endeavor, or continue consuming or pursuing an option, if they’ve invested time or money or some resource in it,” says Christopher Olivola, an assistant professor of marketing at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business and the author of a new paper on the topic published in the journal Psychological Science. “That effect becomes a fallacy if it’s pushing you to do things that are making you unhappy or worse off.”

This idea often applies to money, but invested time, energy or pain can also influence behavior. “Romantic relationships are a classic one,” Olivola says. “The longer you’ve been together, the harder it is to break up.”

Read the whole story: TIME

More of our Members in the Media >

Comments

Very true.In our consulting practice, we experience the Sunk Cost Effect all the time, when clients are asked to adopt a new technology and thus to let go the old one.


APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Comments will be moderated. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.