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How the power of positivity can hurt you

Why do folks have a tendency to stick with a plan, deal or relationship with failure written all over it? One common factor is what's called "escalation of commitment," and UD professor Dustin Sleesman is an expert on it.

Seeing the bad in a situation can be a good thing. (Photo by Pexels user energepic.com, used under a Creative Commons license)

It can take a lot for an entrepreneur to let go of a failing business venture — even if holding on could lead to harsher consequences.

Why do folks have a tendency to stick with a plan, deal or relationship with failure written all over it? One common factor is what’s called “escalation of commitment,” and Dustin Sleesman, an assistant professor of management in the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, is an expert on it.

Along with three researchers from Michigan State University, Sleesman analyzed multiple studies on the science of escalation of commitment and published a recent article on their findings in the journal Academy of Management.

In an article written for UDaily, Sleesman explains the surprising science behind that lapse in logic that happens when we don’t see failure coming:

“A myriad of factors can influence escalation of commitment, but one factor appeared consistently across these contexts: positivity. But positivity isn’t positive. It fuels this bad habit.”

It seems that always thinking positively can actually bite you in the ass.

What can you do about it? Sleesman offers advice on UDaily. Check out the full article here.

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