Escalation of commitment to a failing course of action is a problem in behavioral decision making that occurs across a wide range of social contexts. In this research, we show that examining escalation of commitment from a goal setting theory perspective provides fresh insights into how goal difficulty influences escalation of commitment. Specifically, through a series of two experiments, we found a curvilinear relationship between goal difficulty and post‐feedback goal commitment, which was mediated by valence and expectancy associated with goal attainment. In turn, it is commitment to goals that leads individuals to continue a previous course of action despite negative feedback. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Behavioral Decision Making – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2015
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