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The Psychology of Previous Investment
Written by Greg Ellifritz Topics: Articles
Written by Greg Ellifritz
I was recently listening to a podcast where the host was interviewing noted author and speaker James Howard Kunstler. Mr. Kunstler is well known in the fields of permaculture, architecture, and sustainable living. He has written several excellent books, with The Long Emergency and World Made By Hand likely being of interest to many of my readers.
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We convince ourselves that our decisions are optimal. I see a similar thing happening every day in the firearms and training world.” He’s essentially speaking of inertia. once we’ve made the commitment to set down the path. Some people might call this “throwing good money after bad”.activeresponsetraining. 2 of 5 12/12/2012 3:32 PM .. It damages our ego to admit we were wrong.The Psychology of Previous Investment | Active Response Training http://www.. even when all indicators logically call for a change of course. we as a species seem reluctant to change course (even if it is in our best interests) if we have heavily invested (either emotionally or financially) in a certain technology or outcome. It’s what happens when we let our ego get involved in our decision making process.net/the-psychology-of-previous-inves. Kunstler was talking about the lack of long term sustainability in our resource demands and modern lifestyle. Although Kunstler was speaking specifically of the problems involved with our modern-day energy expenditures.” He explains the concept as: “as a species we are reluctant to abandon any path we’ve set down. He blamed much of the problem on a concept he calls “The Psychology of Previous Investment. we become psychologically wedded to that decision. so we continue to work to support our initial poor decision. In any endeavor. It’s the idea that once we make up our minds and commit to a particular course of action.
As a last resort. you can’t polish a turd. Maybe he gun jams every 20 rounds. I’ll pass on the advice a veteran SWAT trainer once gave me when I was suffering from the “psychology of previous investment” and struggling with a rifle that I originally thought was a great choice. they make excuses. They replace the magazines. After seeing me try everything possible to get the rifle running he looked at me and said: “Dude. They try 14 different kinds of ammunition.activeresponsetraining. People will spend months researching firearms forums and reading gun magazines to find the “best” gun to have for any specific situation. The gun works ok. that thing’s a piece of shit. They try different sights.” 3 of 5 12/12/2012 3:32 PM .. expenditures. Folks. a lightened trigger pull.” The excuses go on forever.net/the-psychology-of-previous-inves. Rather than admit that they screwed up and bought a piece of shit. I see this one most commonly. Get rid of it. That’s why God made gun shows. I see a similar thing happening every day in the firearms and training world. Cut your losses. They just want to avoid the pain of admitting that they made a bad decision. So they invest more. Then it gets really bad. They take the advice of the “experts” and go out and buy a gun. They buy a dozen different holsters to make carrying the gun more comfortable. The “psychology of previous investment” comes into play every day in at least three areas related to firearms and combatives training: 1) Firearm selection.” All the while they are continuing to carry a gun that doesn’t work for them because they took the advice of a keyboard commando and bought the wrong gun.” “I’m just having a bad day on the range. A gun that doesn’t work for you (even if it is expensive or high quality) shouldn’t be carried. They put new grips on the gun. They spend money to replace recoil springs or put match triggers in the guns. or a “reliability package. Maybe it doesn’t fit their hand well or maybe the recoil is really too intense for their skill level. They don’t realize that most gun magazine articles are nothing but paid advertisements and that most of the forum “experts” fire about 100 total rounds a year. It could be a variety of factors.The Psychology of Previous Investment | Active Response Training http://www. Ditch it.. They start seriously tinkering with it.” “I must have a bad magazine. they send the gun to a gunsmith for custom stippling. but it soon becomes obvious that they made a bad decision. “The gun doesn’t like this kind of ammo.
” Every professional instructor has taught a student like this. they realize their clothing choices don’t support their new armed lifestyle. Inertia takes over and reality is ignored. people leave guns at home or in the glove compartment of their cars to avoid changing their clothing style so they could carry more often. They wear tight clothes. It’s that previous investment thing again. but I see it every now and then. They won’t accept any corrections from the instructor.380 auto instead because the Glock “can’t be concealed. The student says something like “I saw this technique on YouTube” or “The Navy Seals do it my way” or. Sometimes you will have to change things up a little and learn to dress around your gun. and ego provides too much inertia to allow the student to change course…even if the course he is on is sending him over a cliff. The previous investment of money.net/the-psychology-of-previous-inves. So what do they do? They don’t buy new clothing to dress around the gun. even worse “My CCW instructor told me to do it this way. People invest money as well as their personal identities in their “style”. They don’t want to change.activeresponsetraining. It won’t kill you.” The student is too stubborn to realize that he has previously spent time and money learning an ineffective technique or system. tucked in shirts. They buy an inadequate gun. They have spent their lives (and often lots of money) developing their own sense of style. 3) Training.The Psychology of Previous Investment | Active Response Training http://www. But leaving your gun at home because you don’t want to un-tuck your shirt might. A student will show up and perform poorly. It doesn’t happen often in my classes. so clearly you are wrong. Being armed is a lifestyle decision. carry off body. I see people who love shooting their Glock. 2) Clothing Choices. but it was good advice. Even worse. The student pays good money. but who carry a . presumably to learn what the instructor is teaching. 4 of 5 12/12/2012 3:32 PM . or use a less-than-optimal holster design. This is another one I see..” I see people carrying guns in virtually inaccessible ankle holsters because they don’t want to un-tuck their shirts. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. When they start carrying. time.. especially among cops and new CCW students. or other clothing that doesn’t work well for concealing a gun. But the student won’t try any of the instructor’s techniques because the student already knows “a better way. More people should take it. even though the student’s techniques are clearly not working.
The Psychology of Previous Investment | Active Response Training http://www.. the student to change course…even if the course he is on is sending him over a cliff. Recognize when its time to cut your losses. 5 of 5 12/12/2012 3:32 PM . Do you suffer from the psychology of previous investment? Take a hard look at your weapon selection..net/the-psychology-of-previous-inves. clothing choices.activeresponsetraining. and training experiences.
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