BERKELEY, CA – After years of research, Professor Lyle Povitzky of the UC Berkeley School of Economics is no closer to solving the sunk cost fallacy than when he started. But despite this setback, the world-renowned economist refuses to give up until he has found a solution for individuals continuing negative behaviors as a result of previous investments.
“There are people everywhere who think that they are forced to continue with a pursuit, just because of past decisions,” explained a sleep-deprived Povitsky. “They just can’t get it through their thick skulls that they can just cut their losses. It’s infuriating!” Povitsky then wrote down some more ideas on the growing pile of papers that swamped his desk.
Povitsky began this endeavor seven years ago with a very simple goal–to solve the flawed thinking that one has to continue harmful actions because of past resources spent. What originally began as a side project soon engulfed his entire life. Due to his long hours and the demanding work, his marriage fell apart, his job performance slipped, and, eventually, he found herself working solely on this project.
It is not unusual for campus maintenance staff to find him furiously scribbling logical proofs late into the night. “Of course my research is not in an ideal place. I haven’t eaten anywhere but the cafeteria in two years! But at this point I have to finish; how am I going to explain to my children if I fail? That I missed their past five birthdays for nothing?!” yelled Povitsky in one of his many outbursts. “I swear on my mother’s recently dug grave that I will convince people to stop this destructive way of viewing cost or die trying.” He then took a long drag of his cigarette and stared at a large blackboard with his entangled formulas.
As of this printing, he is still waiting for further grant funding and a fresh change of clothes.