Escalation Of Commitment

Escalation Of Commitment is a human behavior pattern in which an individual or group facing increasingly negative outcomes from a decision, action, or investment nevertheless continues the behavior instead of altering course. This is similar to what’s called a ‘Choice Supportive Bias’ and a variation is known as the ‘Sunk Cost Trap’ – the tendency for people to irrationally follow through on an activity that is not meeting their expectations. This is because of the time and/or money they have already invested.

A useful counter-measure to ask yourself: What parts of my decision-making is based on factors leading up to this moment? If I could eliminate my most recent events/decisions, would I make the same decisions right now?

For a full list of the most common biases, click here.