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Title: Neural mechanisms and personality correlates of the sunk cost effect
Authors: Fujino, Junya
Fujimoto, Shinsuke
Kodaka, Fumitoshi
Camerer, Colin F.
Kawada, Ryosaku
Tsurumi, Kosuke  kyouindb  KAKEN_id  orcid (unconfirmed)
Tei, Shisei
Isobe, Masanori  kyouindb  KAKEN_id
Miyata, Jun  kyouindb  KAKEN_id
Sugihara, Genichi  kyouindb  KAKEN_id
Yamada, Makiko
Fukuyama, Hidenao
Murai, Toshiya
Takahashi, Hidehiko
Author's alias: 杉原, 玄一
髙橋, 英彦
Issue Date: 9-Sep-2016
Publisher: Springer Nature
Journal title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 6
Thesis number: 33171
Abstract: The sunk cost effect, an interesting and well-known maladaptive behavior, is pervasive in real life, and thus has been studied in various disciplines, including economics, psychology, organizational behavior, politics, and biology. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the sunk cost effect have not been clearly established, nor have their association with differences in individual susceptibility to the effect. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated neural responses induced by sunk costs along with measures of core human personality. We found that individuals who tend to adhere to social rules and regulations (who are high in measured agreeableness and conscientiousness) are more susceptible to the sunk cost effect. Furthermore, this behavioral observation was strongly mediated by insula activity during sunk cost decision-making. Tight coupling between the insula and lateral prefrontal cortex was also observed during decision-making under sunk costs. Our findings reveal how individual differences can affect decision-making under sunk costs, thereby contributing to a better understanding of the psychological and neural mechanisms of the sunk cost effect.
Rights: © The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI(Published Version): 10.1038/srep33171
PubMed ID: 27611212
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