By Erik Angner
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Extra resources for A Course In Behavioral Economics
Once a project - whether an R&D effort, a marriage, a financial investment, or whatever - is beginning to go downhill, the sunk-cost fallacy encourages people irrationally to make additional investments in the project. Once the additional investment has been made, unless it turns the project around, people find themselves with an even greater sunk cost, which is even harder to ignore, thereby encouraging even greater investments. The sunk-cost fallacy and escalation behavior are often invoked when explaining why the US spent so many years fighting a losing war in Vietnam.
Igh irreversible process. Our involvement will be so great that we cannot- without national humiliation -stop short of achieving our complete objectives. Of the two possibilities I think humiliation wilJ be more likely than the achievement of our objectives - even after we have paid terrible costs. Some wars are justified and some wars are not. But the justification can never take the form of simply pointing out how much money and how many lives have already been sacrificed; if the war is justified, it must be for other reasons.
Once a proof is concluded, logicians like to write "QED" - Latin for "quad erat demonstrandum," meaning "that which was to be shown" - or by the little box 0 . les of thumb, that you may want to follow when constructing proofs. Hint one: if you want to establish a proposition of the form x - y, you typically want to begin by assuming what is to the left of the arrow; that is, the first line will read "1. " Then, your goal is to derive y, which would permit you to complete the proof. U you want to establis h a propos ition of the form x ++ y, you need to do it both ways: first, prove tha t x - y, second, that y - x.
A Course In Behavioral Economics by Erik Angner