Three Attempts to Replicate the Behavioral Sunk-Cost Effect: A Note on

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should be sent to A. Ross Otto, Department of Psychology, University of Texas, 1 University Station A8000, Austin, Texas 78712. E-mail: rotto@mail.utexas.edu

Abstract

Cunha and Caldieraro (2009) investigated whether sunk-cost effects, which are well documented in hypothetical situations involving monetary investments, also occur in choice situations with purely behavioral investments. Their results suggest that decision makers indeed fall prey to behavioral sunk-cost effects under certain circumstances. I have been unable to replicate their pattern of results in three separate investigations. In these studies, I attempted to recover the effect using two other behavioral effort manipulations in addition to the manipulation used by Cunha and Caldieraro. This failure to replicate the pattern of results calls into question the robustness of the initial findings.

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