Undoing the Sunk Cost Bias

“You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em.”

Kenny Roger, "The Gambler"

It's obvious to any good poker player. No matter how much the player has already put in the pot, when new information comes to light, usually after new cards are dealt, folding or getting out of that hand, cutting his or her loses, can be the best choice.

In contrast, a novice or a bad poker player will often throw good money after bad.

The playing field of life and the games on our playing field

Whether we like it or not, life is a playing field containing many games. Most of these games are not like chess, where they are no unknowns on the playing field, but more like poker. 

Even deciding not to continue with the various games on the playing field of life is something we can choose, for example through suicide.

How to avoid the sunk cost bias

The general formula for avoiding the sunk cost bias has two parts. 

Remain generally aware that you always have the option in every game to either modify some of the conditions of the game or to quit the game.