Integrating Losses

The flip side to segregating gains is that people generally prefer experiencing one (bigger) loss to multiple smaller ones. That is, we prefer integrated losses to segregated ones. So, it’s less painful to lose $100 once than $50 twice. More practically, it helps explain why ripping a band-aid off is preferable to removing it slowly. Or why jumping into cold water may be less painful than slowly wading in. Taking a ‘just get it over with’ attitude to unpleasant experiences often reduces overall unpleasantness.

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