Official 22 Task 3
Reading

Irrational Commitment
 

When people have devoted time or resources to a certain project, they generally wanted to see it succeed. However, they may grow so attached to the idea of a successful outcome that even if it starts to look like the project will fail, and the disadvantages are outweighing the benefits; they will nevertheless increase their attachment to the project rather than give up. This is known as irrational commitment. This tendency to continue with a project when it would make better sense to quit can be especially strong when people feel they may be judged by others for their eventual success or failure with the project.

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Narrator: Listen to part of a lecture from the Psychology class.
Professor: So I have a personal example.
Some years back, my wife and I were looking for a house to buy.
We found this great old house out in the country.
But my wife had her doubts about it.
She noticed the house wasn't in very good condition.
It was a little run down and probably needed some repairs.
But I really fell in love with the architecture of the house,
the unusual way it was designed and built.
So I convinced my wife that we could hire people to fix it up, and you know, make the house nice.
We decided to buy it and live there after the repairs are finished.
Well, the workers we hired to repair the house soon discovered things were worse than I'd thought.
It turned out that the roof was damaged and needed expensive repairs.
After the roof was repaired,
the workers discovered the house had electrical problems,
most of the wiring was bad and would have to be replaced at a huge cost.
Well, at this point,
my wife reminded me of her earlier doubts about the house and wondered if we could ever get it in good shape.
But I just became more determined than ever.
I paid for all the wiring to be replaced by an electrician.
But it gets worse.
The electrician noticed that insects had eaten into some of the walls,
and they would also have to be torn out and replaced.
This was gonna be more expensive than all the other repairs.
But by this point, I felt determined to keep going.
I kept thinking I have to do it.
If I stop now,
my wife will think I was wrong for not following her advice.
Question

Explain how the example from the professor’s lecture illustrates the irrational commitment.