Sunk cost fallacy

Use this technique when things are going wrong and you need to decide whether to pull the plug or carry on – it might help you avoid the sunk cost fallacy. If you’ve ever thrown good money after bad in a poker game or stayed in a bad relationship just because it’d be a shame to waste all the time you’d spent getting this far, then you’ve experienced the sunk cost fallacy. We all have loss aversion – the pain of definitely losing something right now clouds our judgement about possible gains or losses in the future. When a project is failing, the aversion to losing everything you’ve spent so far might make you carry on when you should call it quits. This technique – thanks to a bit of origami – literally puts past losses out of sight while you think about the future, and then for good measure, reframes those losses as lessons learned.

You need: 40-60 minutes, worksheets printed on both sides, pens

Watch this video

Download this worksheet (2 x PDF files which you need to print double sided on A4)

Credit: more on sunk cost fallacy and loss aversion in Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow