Sunk Cost Fallacy - Deepstash
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Sunk Cost Fallacy

Sunk Cost Fallacy

One may become biased toward the backup plan due to the sunk cost fallacy. Although this phenomenon normally refers to our tendency to stick to plans longer than we should because we’ve invested heavily in them (i.e., “throwing good money after bad”), the more resources we commit to our backup plan, the more likely we are to change course. So creating a backup plan often begets using the backup plan.


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If you have a backup plan, then you’ve already admitted defeat.



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Accept reality and have a backup plan, but always follow your dreams no matter what.



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The Problem With A Backup Plan

The Problem With A Backup Plan

  • A backup plan is self-sabotage, imbuing doubt in the value of our goal and/or our ability to complete it.
  • Backup plans can devalue the rewards that come from achieving a goal and, thus, demotivate you to complete...


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The Key Points

The Key Points

Backup plans can undermine goal pursuit by devaluing the rewards associated with achieving a goal, thus reducing motivation.

Backup plans draw tangible and psychological resources away from your primary goal in both the planning and execution stages.

Students can focus on superordinat...


107 reads

Two Key Strategies: Superordinate Goals

Two Key Strategies: Superordinate Goals

Backup plans are risky business. They decrease desire and commitment to the initial goal, create an additional cognitive burden, and ultimately hinder performance. 

Nobody wants to be a nurse, teacher, or engineer in a vacuum. Students learn in order to help other people, expand knowledge,...


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Two Key Strategies: Pursue Concurrent Goals

Two Key Strategies: Pursue Concurrent Goals

Superordinate goals can also afford the opportunity to pursue concurrent goals.

For example, if you want to lose weight, you can consume fewer calories and exercise more; it’s not an either-or situation and neither strategy must be relegated to “backup plan.” But students can only...


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Solve the problem or leave the problem. But…… Do not live with the problem.

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The sunk cost fallacy

It plays on this tendency of ours to emphasize loss over gain.

The term sunk cost refers to any cost that has been paid already and cannot be recovered. The reason we can't ignore the cost, even though it's already been paid, is that we're wired to feel loss far more strongly than g...

Sunk Cost Fallacy

It describes our tendency to commit to something just because we've already invested resources in it—even if it would be better to give up on it.

How to control it: Always reevaluate your processes in light of new evidence.

The sunk cost fallacy

The sunk cost fallacy

Humans are especially susceptible to the “sunk cost fallacy”—a psychological effect where we feel compelled to continue doing something just because we’ve already put time and effort into it.

But the reality is that no matter what you spend your time doing, you can never get that time ba...


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