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Does a Tired Mind Help Avoid a Decision Bias? The Effect of Ego Depletion on Escalation of Commitment

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Applied Psychology / International Review of Applied Psychology

Published online on


In this research, we investigated the effect of ego depletion on escalation of commitment. Specifically, we conducted two laboratory experiments and obtained evidence that ego depletion decreases escalation of commitment. In Study 1, we found that individuals were less susceptible to escalation of commitment after completing an ego depletion task. In Study 2, we confirmed the effect observed in Study 1 using a different manipulation of ego depletion and a different subject pool. Contrary to the fundamental assumption of bounded rationality that people have a tendency to make decision errors when mental resources are scarce, the findings of this research show that a tired mind can help reduce escalation bias.