I've noticed some people are more inclined to use something they paid for even when it's not the best use of their time or a substitute is freely available that better solves their problem. I.e. since they paid for (some thing) they want to use that thing.

What psychological phenomena explains this behaviour?

  • I've noticed self-aware people "hacking" this quirk: e.g. buying an expensive gym membership so they actually go! ..and indeed, it works, they do go, whereas when they had a just-as-good free alternative, they didn't use it.
  • Although it happens with money, it can also happen without; for example if someone puts time into something and rational assessment does not support spending more time on it, they still may. It could also happen with a mixture of time and money.


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