Is Sunk Cost Fallacy a Fallacy?post by gwern · 2012-02-04T04:33:49.585Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 81 comments
I just finished the first draft of my essay, "Are Sunk Costs Fallacies?"; there is still material I need to go through, but the bulk of the material is now there. The formatting is too gnarly to post here, so I ask everyone's forgiveness in clicking through.
- sunk costs are probably issues in big organizations
- but maybe not ones that can be helped
- sunk costs are not issues in animals
- they appear to be in children & adults
- but many apparent problems can be explained as part of a learning strategy
- there are few clear indications sunk costs are genuine problems
- much of what we call 'sunk cost' looks like simple carelessness & thoughtlessness
(If any of that seems unlikely or absurd to you, click through. I've worked very hard to provide multiple citations where possible, and fulltext for practically everything.)
I started this a while ago; but Luke/SIAI paid for much of the work, and that motivation plus academic library access made this essay more comprehensive than it would have been and finished months in advance.
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