I read a study that showed something fascinating about people who place bets in sports. The study asserts: after placing a bet, people are much more confident of their chances of winning than they are immediately before laying down that bet. Of course, nothing about the game actually shifts; it’s the same game, in the same field; but in the minds of those bettors, the prospects improve significantly once the bet is in place.
The reason for the dramatic change has to do with social influence. Like the other means of influence, this one lies deep within us, directing our actions with quiet power. It is our nearly obsessive desire to be consistent with what we have already done. Once we have made a decision, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment.
And then, there are feelings that come to the fore as the main source of infinite stupidity portrayed by lack of timely judgment. I feel stupid these days mainly because I don’t learn to resist at the beginning. Like the bettors, I let my obsessive desire for consistency be the hobgoblin of my mind. That said, there is hope. I now know there is something that needs to change.
“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end”, Da Vinci.