The present study examined the combined effects of responsibility and reinforcement history on investment responses during a series of failure experiences. Subjects performed a variation of the A and S decision case  under one of six conditions varying in responsibility (high, low) and reinforcement history (variable partial, fixed partial, no training). When investment responses at the start of the period of continuous losses were examined, results indicated that high responsibility and a variable history of reinforcement are both necessary conditions for escalation to occur. When later responses were included in the analysis, reinforcement history and time were the main factors affecting recommitment responses. These results suggest possible refinements to current models of escalation.
Decision Sciences – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1993
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