framed (to achieve gains)" (Staw & Ross, 1989, p. 217). The unintentional miscalculation of sunk costs and negative framing are information processing errors, and may be compounded by a major motivational cause of persistence, self-justification biases.
A list of psychological determinants is headed by simple errors in information processing by decision makers. Although accounting and economic guidelines generally state that investments should only be made when marginal (future) revenues will exceed marginal costs, decision-makers may act to the contrary. Sunk costs, which are those costs previously expended, but are not supposed to effect investment decisions, may not be sunk psychologically. They, in addition to the way investment questions are posed, continue to influence investment decisions: "People take more risks on investment decisions framed in a negative manner (for example, to recover losses or prevent injuries) than when the same decision is positively
Simonson, I., & Staw, B. M. (1992, August). Deescalation strategies: A comparison of techniques for reducing commitment to losing courses of action. Journal of Applied Psychology, pp. 419-426.
Not all conflicts in which contentious tactics are used lead to escalation, not all escalating conflict persists, and not all conflict escalation results in stalemate, wherein neither party can or will escalate the conflict further, though neither is yet able or willing to take the actions that will eventually generate an agreement. Four major reasons for the emergence of stalemate follow: failure of contentious tactics; exhaustion of necessary resources; loss of social support; and unacceptable costs. Getting out of stalemate may be more easily understood by reviewing the five different strategies people can employ for coping with conflict: contending; inaction; yielding; withdrawing; and problem solving. Contending, obviously, cannot be a choice for escaping stalemate; therefore, the individual must