What Is Escalation of Commitment In Behavioral Economics?

Escalation of commitment is a phenomenon in which people have a tendency to continue investing time, effort, or resources in a failing course of action, even when it is clear that the course of action is not working. This can happen because people tend to become emotionally or psychologically invested in a particular course of action, and may be unwilling to admit that it is not working. For example, if you are trying to solve a difficult problem and you are not making progress, you may continue trying different approaches even though it is clear that your current approach is not working. Escalation of commitment can lead to errors in judgment and decision-making, as it can cause people to continue pursuing a failing course of action, and to overlook more effective or efficient alternatives. To avoid escalation of commitment, it is important to carefully evaluate the progress and effectiveness of a course of action, and to be willing to adapt or change course if it is not working. This can help us to avoid wasting time, effort, or resources on a failing course of action, and to pursue more effective alternatives.

Related Behavioral Economics Terms