She chooses to remain in a childless marriage with a morbidly obese, selfish, low IQ husband that she supports financially because of his inability to support her. Her future is laid out for her in black and white: the husband will suffer knee and hip problems, back problems, diabetes, and any number of other obesity-related physical problems. He will end up in a motorized wheelchair and become more demanding and moody than ever. She will be his “nurse with a purse” in an ever-declining situation, and she’ll be too guilty to leave him when and not if the situation arrives.
We see people remaining in declining personal relationships, shrinking markets, plummeting job situations, countries that are going to the dogs with no possible relief or improvement, covering their bodies with ridiculous, permanent tattoos, damaging their health with bad eating habits, and destroying their brain cells with pot and other drugs, and we can’t understand why they do it. Why do people remain in cults, even though they have a constant, nagging feeling deep in their guts that they’ve been conned?
The Sunk Cost Fallacy is one reason; “I have so much time, money and effort invested…” And “what will people think?” paralyzes many.
Time Discounting or time preference – see explanation below – is also known as instant gratification, weighing up the short-term benefits against the long-term benefits, sacrificing the quick buck, quick relief, feel-good-now for a longer term, probably more significant benefit at a future time. I believe maturity, strength of character, and intelligence have a lot to do with this choice as well, not to mention the fear of the unknown alternative.
In addition, we tend to weigh the pain of change against the pain of no change, and the greater pain tends to win out – IF we have low time preference. Outside intervention by trusted people who have influence over the individual may help.
Remember, our beliefs are based on the evidence we are exposed to and collect. We reduce Cognitive Dissonance – the feeling of mental stress and discomfort we experience when confronted with evidence contrary to that which we choose and with which we’re comfortable and well acquainted with, by denying that evidence. So we select only evidence that promotes our current choices and we filter out all evidence to the contrary.
And so, no matter how illogical the behaviour of brainwashed Cultural Marxists appears to us, for example – Black Lives Matter but White Lives Don’t, race and gender don’t exist, but white men are bad, IQ doesn’t exist in spite of overwhelming evidence, Anti-Islam is Racism, in spite of the fact that Islam is not confined to any race – people make weird choices and believe weird things for a reason.
From Wikipedia: “In economics, time preference (or time discounting, delay discounting, temporal discounting) is the current relative valuation placed on receiving a good at an earlier date compared with receiving it at a later date.
There is no absolute distinction that separates “high” and “low” time preference, only comparisons with others either individually or in aggregate. Someone with a high time preference is focused substantially on his well-being in the present and the immediate future relative to the average person, while someone with low time preference places more emphasis than average on their well-being in the further future.
Time preferences are captured mathematically in the discount function. The higher the time preference, the higher the discount placed on returns receivable or costs payable in the future.
The time preference that an individual exhibits at any given moment is determined solely by their personal preferences. [and choices.]”