You all have probably heard the saying “a quitter never wins and a winner never quits.” It’s a social trap: a situation in which not quitting produces a small, immediate positive outcome at first (i.e. pride), but eventually results in a larger negative outcome after a delay. It’s become so ingrained that we don’t even think about it anymore.
We are looking to help with some small problems which can eat away at people’s time and resources. For example, reading the whole of the book just because they started it and are determined to finish it despite not enjoying it. Herein lie the two concepts: sunk cost (the money they spent on the book and the time they have spent reading it, which they cannot get back and must not use as a reason to continue) and opportunity cost (they could spend the time on a book they enjoy more). We created a website where people would look to solve these small dilemmas. Here’s the website’s map:
We weren’t able to compare if the coin toss or the deciding for themselves led to a higher chance of following through with quitting the behaviour, but we hope that we have created a positive change in people’s lives through freeing them from wasting their time on rewardless and costly endeavours.
Ande Milinyte & Jacob Barker