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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Debiasing the Mind Through Meditation

Debiasing the Mind Through Meditation

Mindfulness and the Sunk-Cost Bias

  1. Andrew C. Hafenbrack1
  2. Zoe Kinias1
  3. Sigal G. Barsade2
  1. 1Department of Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD
  2. 2Management Department, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  1. Andrew C. Hafenbrack, Department of Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD, 1 Ayer Rajah Ave., Singapore 138676, Singapore E-mail: andrew.hafenbrack@insead.edu
From: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/06/0956797613503853

Abstract from The Harvard Business Review:  A Little Meditating Helps You Make Better Business Decisions
Research participants who had spent just 15 minutes in “mindfulness” meditation, focusing on their breathing, were 77% more likely than others to resist what’s known as the “sunk-cost bias,” the tendency to stick with a less-than-optimal strategy merely because a lot of money has been sunk into it, says a team led by Andrew C. Hafenbrack of Insead business school in France. In a fictional scenario, the participants had to decide whether to buy a highly efficient $10,000 machine shortly after spending $200,000 on equipment that was much less efficient (and couldn’t be sold). Meditation’s impact on the sunk-cost bias may have to do with its ability to improve mood and decrease people’s focus on the future and past, the researchers suggest.