Title

Escalation research: providing new frontiers for applying behavior analysis to organizational behavior

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2000

Abstract

Decision fiascoes such as escalation of commitment, the tendency of decision makers to "throw good money after bad," can have serious consequences for organizations and are therefore of great interest in applied research. This paper discusses the use of behavior analysis in organizational behavior research on escalation. Among the most significant aspects of behavior-analytic research on escalation is that it has indicated that both the patterns of outcomes that decision makers have experienced for past decisions and the patterns of responses that they make are critical for understanding escalation. This research has also stimulated the refinement of methods by researchers to better assess decision making and the role reinforcement plays in it. Finally, behavior-analytic escalation research has not only indicated the utility of reinforcement principles for predicting more complex human behavior but has also suggested some additional areas for future exploration of decision making using behavior analysis.

Publisher's Statement

Publisher’s version of record: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22478347

A previous version of this paper was presented at the 1997 conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis in Chicago.

Publication Title

The Behavior Analyst