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What really drags you down is sunk costs

2020-11-09 11:37:18 I don't know.

In the workplace & Cognitive insight   丨 author  / findyi

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A foreign friend asked :“ Yang Ge , I'm in this startup 3 Years. , But the shares the boss promised never materialized . Now I want to leave , But I'm not willing to , What should I do? ”.

I replied :“ Talk to your boss once , If it's not cashed, it's like the so-called shares don't exist , Then decide whether to leave ”.

The reader's question reminds me of a good friend , He worked with a boss for years , The boss promised to hold a few percent of the shares until the company went public .

He's been sticking to it with a low salary , During this period, I repeatedly advised him to run away , He felt that the effort ahead was too great , Can't give up .

Finally, time goes by 、 Youth is no longer , But nothing .

Blame these bad bosses ? If I say the boss is hateful , But what's more hateful is myself .

Because considering sunk costs And not willing to give up , Nature has to pay a greater price .


 1 

Sunk cost fallacy

Sunk costs are those that happened in the past , What we can't take back or change .

These efforts , Including but not limited to money 、 Time 、 energy 、 Feelings, etc. .

Actually , You're going to have a lot of similar situations .

I don't want to waste my waiting time , Not willing to take a taxi , I want to hold on to it , I've been waiting for the bus for an hour in the hot sun .

When it comes to stocks , High to continue to decline , Because you're too late to cut the meat , In the end, I almost lost my money .

The boss of the company draws big cakes every day PUA you , But because of thinking “ What if the pancake comes true ”, Finally PUA to the end .

Why do you know that you have suffered a loss rationally , Still can't resist to continue to invest ?

occasionally , You stick to it , It's going to end .

In life, we often indulge in the past in order to avoid the negative emotions caused by loss , Chose irrational behavior , This is it. “ Sunk cost fallacy ”.

Cheaters also use “ Sunk cost fallacy ”.

A trap hovering around us is : telecommunication fraud .

If people are not careful, they may be “ tricks ”.

A lot of fraudulent calls , They all let the victim pay a little money first , such as 200、500 element .

After that, they're going to slowly cajole each other , Say you'll hand it in again 5000 Yuan can give back all the money in full .

In order not to let the previous money float , People tend to invest more , In the end, more .

Sunk costs are like a black hole , It's hard for people who are in it to retreat , In the end, lose all .


 2 

loss aversion

How did the sunk cost fallacy come about ?

The first driving force comes from “ loss aversion ”—— People's pain for loss is greater than happiness for gain , So people are naturally more sensitive to loss , To avoid loss , Instead, they continue to invest more .

We go to a restaurant to eat , After ordering, I found that it was very bad .

But because the money has been spent , Don't want to waste , Don't want to admit the loss .

We force ourselves to eat more , In fact, it's a crime after spending money .

“ Sunk cost fallacy ” Let you eat enough to finish the meal !

Loss 100 Yuan and get 100 Yuan income for people , The former elicits more emotion .

in other words , People are more sensitive to loss .

Many Internet companies take advantage of human nature 「 loss aversion 」 Krypton gold .

For example, during festivals, some e-commerce platforms often carry out some promotional activities :

1. 2 Pieces of 7 fold ,3 Pieces of 5 fold , Expect to have XX element , Limited to 24 Hours ;

2. Present price 19.9, count down x Hour recovery 199;

Businesses are using human nature to increase sales .

The routine is still the same , But it's always been useful .

Countless users are worried about losing the so-called 「 Ultra low discount 」, And pay the money .

Finally, I bought a lot of useless things .


 3 

Cognitive dissonance

The second driving force behind the sunk cost fallacy : Cognitive dissonance .

It refers to one's behavior and one's previous self cognition ( Generally positive and positive ) There was an inconsistency , This inconsistency creates uncomfortable tension in individuals .

And in order to overcome this psychological tension , Often choose to change their behavior or change their views and attitudes .

When people make money for a choice 、 Time 、 After hard investment , There will be a psychological expected return on the investment .

The occurrence of sunk cost runs counter to this kind of profit expectation , At the same time, it quickly makes people nervous .

So people force themselves to change their perceptions , Think your decision is still right , Sooner or later, it will turn over .

Take the workplace again PUA give an example .

A lot of people are PUA The whole body of , None of the things the boss promised has been fulfilled .

But I think I've been paid my base salary for two years , This kind of loss is totally unbearable .

So I had to imagine that the boss would find his conscience one day 、 Great mercy has fulfilled the promise .

Even more afraid to offend the boss , Be careful everywhere .

Besides , People also want to show a consistent image of decision makers .

If you stop investing in previous decisions , It means acknowledging the failure of the decision at that time .

It means that the resources you put in earlier are useless 、 In vain .

And if you continue to invest , You can win the respect of others .

And winning the respect of others, to some extent, can make up for the psychological loss caused by previous losses .

All of these will bring about greater sunk cost effect .


 4 

Opportunity cost

How to fight the sunk cost fallacy , A lot of times it determines our destiny .

Give up in time , It's a kind of wisdom .

It can help us avoid greater losses , Clarify what we really want .

if , Sunk costs determine how people look at the past .

So the opportunity cost , It determines how people face the future .

What is opportunity cost ?

Mankiw is in 《 Principles of economics 》 in , List opportunity cost as one of the ten principles of economics .

Is defined as :“ The cost of something is to get what it gives up ”.

To put it simply :

I've chosen the option now A, If I turn to other B、C、D、E... One of them , The highest value they can bring me .

For example, you have two hours on weekends , It can be used to watch movies , It can also be used to learn .

The joy of watching movies and the growth of learning , They are opportunity costs for each other .

Compared to sunk costs , Opportunity cost , It's the one that determines our future happiness .

But it's also in front of sunk costs , The one we ignored .

When we make choice decisions , We need to pay more attention to opportunity costs .

2009 year , I just left Tencent to join Renren .

After half a year's work, I found that the company's management was chaotic , And executives announced in public that they would no longer issue large-scale options .

Just at this time ,360 One of our directors is digging me up , And promise a lot of options .

At the time , As a job, you can't get 2 But I changed jobs 2 The next new comer , I was in a state of confusion and confusion .

I asked myself a few questions :

“ Stay with Renren for a few years , What can I gain ?”

“ If you go 360 Not well done , What's going to happen ?”

“ If you go 360 Ready to , What will be gained ?”

Through these three questions , Weighing the risks and benefits of leaving , I made a quick decision : Job hopping and joining only 400 One of the 360.

And then 5 Year time , I am here 360 Rapid growth , And get a huge financial return .

And when I made this choice , I didn't think about sunk costs , The focus is all above opportunity cost .

Among all things , Hope is beautiful !


At the end

No one , Like to be treated as a person who gives up easily .

similarly , Carrying a heavy past , It's hard for us to bear .

Psychology scientist yakos said :“ In our lives 90% The misfortune of , It's all caused by unwillingness .

Because I'm not willing to , I feel that I have paid too much before , Don't know how to stop loss in time , Kill your future .

because , Persevere for a wrong choice , It's also a failure .

The real master , Can stop loss in time , Get back on track .

They know that what really matters is 「 Opportunity cost 」.

Sometimes give up decisively , To give us a chance to get closer to , The day when the clouds break through to see the sun .


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What makes you worse 7 It's a bottom thinking

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