What is commitment bias?

Commitment bias refers to continued commitment to past behavior, particularly when it was exhibited publicly, even when it did not have the desired outcomes.

Most people don’t enjoy admitting that they were wrong – especially in public. This can lead to follow-up decisions that bring us even further from what we want. We may even act against our own interests.

We all have our blind spots. That is why it is good to stay alert and recalibrate our decisions every now and then. In general, the more committed we are to a cause, the more aware we should be that we may no longer see the full picture.

Commitment bias: shackled to the past.

Example commitment bias

Commitment biases are rife in the political sphere. Politicians tend to stick to their views once they are elected on a certain platform, while voters may find it difficult to renounce previous enthusiastic support for a political candidate who was actually rather disappointing. It is only human, to a certain extent.

Religion is another area where commitment bias is of frequent occurrence.