Sunk Cost Effect

We’re reluctant to pull out of something we’d put effort into.

When we put time and effort into something, we’re motivated to make it work. We therefore often continue to invest into it even if it brings us losses. Examples include continuing to pump money into a failed business idea, or attending a play when sick only because the tickets were pre-purchased. Arkes, Hal R., and Catherine Blumer, “The psychology of sunk cost”, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 35, No. 5, December 1985, 124-140.

This characterises so much of my behaviour, from continuing to invest in Chinese studies, despite seldom needing anything above a very rudimentary level, to continuing to doggedly insisting on being an entrepreneur, despite not possessing the required capital, human or otherwise (I suppose continuing to live in Taiwan counts too).

Via Cognitive lode