Mindfulness works against bias. Specifically, it does appear — as theorized — that calming-at-peace mindful practice keeps people from focusing on the past and future, pulling them back to the present. Since regret and anxiety are emotions of the past and future, the present focus also reduces these negative emotions, and by doing so diminishes the focus of investment and loss. — Wray Herbert







This kind of irrational thinking is so common that psychological scientists have a name for it–the sunk-cost bias. It’s the tendency to persist with an endeavor once we’ve made an investment of money or time or effort. We’re all subject to this kind of irrational calculation, and often the costs are far greater than $400. We stick with an unsuitable college just because we’ve stacked up some credits. We throw good money after bad with investments that have gone sour. We stay in bad relationships — even bad marriages — just because we’ve celebrated this or that many anniversaries.


So how do we recognize and trump this powerful cognitive bias?


Sunk-cost bias comes from overvaluing the past and future–at the expense of the present–and from aversion to any kind of loss. Mindfulness tabula rasa, by keeping us focused on the present moment and diminishing negative feelings, counters this distorted thinking.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s