What would you do?
Imagine you’re sitting in a theater watching a movie with a date.
Between tickets, popcorn, and a drink, you’ve already spent $60 to be there.
Thirty-five minutes into the two-and-a-half-hour movie, you realize it’s awful.
You’re bored out of your mind with no sign of the story improving.
The writing is so bad, not even the top-notch actors can save it.
Do you leave? Or do you stick it out?
Before you answer, consider the following two things.
- By all indicators, the movie is a dud.
- If your goal is to have an enjoyable date, you would likely be better off leaving and pursuing a different (perhaps even free) activity.
Given these two statements, the answer would seem to be to get up and leave.
However, this is not how our brains tend to think. We’re more likely to stick it out in hopes of recouping something from the $60 invested in the movie.
This is called the Sunk Cost Fallacy.