Change Psychology: Commitment

recently wrote about building up a resource for Change knowledge here within this very Blog. Finally I got the time to deal with some basic psychological questions of Change. I am looking forward to be able to share those insights on “Change Psychology” with you, here.

A commitment is a public or private decision to act. If we make a commitment, we often feel bound to follow through on it, for fear of social rejection or simply due to the threat of cognitive dissonance.
When we are committed to something, we will not change our minds very easily, especially if that commitment was public.

Knox and Inkster (1968) asked people about to make a $2 bet on a horse how likely they horse was to win. They also asked people who had just placed the same value bet. They found that people who had just bet on a horse were even more convinced that it would win.

People who volunteer to help a political party will over-estimate their chances of winning.

Using it
When getting people to make a commitment, make sure it will cause more dissonance for them to break the commitment than to fulfill the commitment. For example by making the commitments written and public.

Refuse to make commitments until you are ready. Do not be rushed.

Psychology of Change (Picture source: article taken from
Psychology of Change (Picture source:
Original article taken from

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