Current Psychology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 45-54

First online:

Sunk Cost and Commitment to Dates Arranged Online

  • Martin D. ColemanAffiliated withPsychology Department, North Dakota State University Email author 

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The influence of prior, irretrievable, investment (sunk cost) on commitment to a date arranged online was investigated. Participants were recruited from an undergraduate population. There were 145 participants (86 female) with a mean age of 19.42 years. Participants took part in a computer simulation of the process of arranging a date online. Participants invested one of five amounts of sunk cost into this process. Participants were then presented with the choice of attending the date arranged online or attending a (superior) blind date. Participants chose how much time that they wanted to commit to the (inferior) date arranged online. Results revealed a significant sunk cost effect (p = 0.003). The implications of the sunk cost effect having an influence over human relationships are discussed.


Sunk cost Relationships Dating