Concorde Effect: Giving up is not an option

There are people who just keep on doing it. Against every reason . No matter what the mind tells them. Giving up is not an option for her, There's about the stock trader. Its stock has developed differently than expected. The losses rise and rise. But because he has already invested so much, selling is out of the question. Or the girl who really wants to be a model. Long ago, her friends and professionals have attested that she has neither the look nor the dimensions for it. But give up? So she continues to invest all her money in modeling schools and pseudo agents. Or the student who has fallen madly in love with his classmate, although she has already made it clear to him three times that she would rather go out with Catweazle than with him. So he becomes a stalker ... And, like everyone else, the victim of the Concorde effect .

To give up? No way!
Carry on - cost what it wants! It is a not so rare phenomenon in the human behavioral repertoire. In technical jargon, this persistence is also called Sunk-Cost-Fallacy or Concorde-Effekt . It's a sort of over-the-top commitment to a goal that is unattainable when viewed in the clearest of minds.

The irony of the psycho-effect : The higher the costs or losses that they have already suffered, the more these people hold on to such questionable goals, motto: Now I've already put so much into it ... Get Rich - Or The Tryin '!

Why is the effect called Concorde Effect?
Why is the effect called Concorde EffectIn fact, the effect also called Concorde fallacy owes its name to that legendary supersonic plane, which is now only admired in the museum. At that time, in the 1960s, when the British-French plane was being developed, the costs were already well above the target in the development phase . It threatened to become a billion-dollar grave. But give up and lose his national face - maybe even admit that you were unable to develop such a prestigious aircraft? No way! So the engineers continued. The machine was actually built - but at the cost of billions of taxpayers . Also later in the current operation, the Concorde flew only partial profits.

But why do we humans do that?


The wrong sense of duty
The common answer is this: From the moment when the setbacks become unmanageable and the losses suffered irreversible, the mind stops and our motive changes . Not the original goal is now in the foreground, but the consequences, should we give it up or cancel the project:

It rules the fear of losing ...

Investments (money, feelings, ...)
Work done
Prestigious
Chances in the future
self-confidence
So we talk nicely about the circumstances, ignoring warnings, blunting out risks and other costs, denying facts, fighting on - even on a lost post .

Veronika Brandst├Ątter, scientific assistant at the Institute for Social Psychology in Munich, has also been working on the Concorde effect for several years. She has identified another reason for the unreasonable stamina: wrong sense of duty .

Once affected, they feel so committed to their cause that there is only one way forward for them - even without any prospect of success. Those affected feel rather heroic , they shine with superhuman perseverance - and eventually the rest will already see that they were right and worth pinning ...

Perhaps. Maybe not.

At first, this mechanism makes sense, says Veronika Brandst├Ątter. Otherwise we would give up at the first signs of problems . And that is not an option.

Rather, the problem lies in the fact that some are already putting the point of no return far too far ahead and at the beginning of their project. Ultimately, it can be reversed at any time.


What can be done against the Concorde effect?
Unfortunately, that's the bad news, not much . Because the point at which it is time to give up and to reverse, is usually anything but clearly marked.

Not giving up, persevering, biting are also quite virtues that favor success.

And, as a rule, socially, too: who gives up too early is a sissy; who fights to total loss is at least a hero . They usually die in the end anyway ... So the madness is backfilled in retrospect.

What can at least help against it, is a forced change of perspective: Instead of focusing on the disadvantages of giving up , you should also bring its advantages into focus:

Failure is no shame.
At least they tried - and can learn from it.
We grow more in our failures than in our successes.
You save yourself further costs.
You decide sensibly.
And last but not least , you prove your size : being able to stand for your mistakes or wrong decisions shows true character.

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