Quit: Why We Do It Too Late and How To Get Better At It with Annie Duke

Walking away is never easy. Whether it’s quitting a job, a relationship or an expedition to the peak of Mount Everest, we have a real problem with knowing when to stop. And ironically, when we do quit, we often wish we’d done it earlier. So why do we find it so difficult to quit? Annie Duke addresses the psychological reasons that prevent us from quitting, and how we can overcome them.

Annie needs little introduction to the Behavioral Grooves Podcast as she is now the only guest to have been on the show 4 times! Most people know of her as a poker champion and bestselling author but we are lucky enough to call her a friend. One of the reasons we are so fond of Annie is her ability to use relatable stories to explain the complex concepts around decision making. She has emerged as one of the leading thinkers in the field, and is truly an intellectual powerhouse. So we are thrilled to be talking to Annie about her excellent new book, “Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away”.

We don't like ambiguity. We don't like uncertainty. We keep chugging along, trying to accrue more certainty. So that we know that it's the right decision. ~ Annie Duke, Episode 323 Share on X

In this episode, Annie touches on key themes around quitting. We talk about the reasons we find quitting so difficult, why mantras like “quit while you’re ahead” are complete bunkum, and what techniques we can use to ensure we quit at the right time. Annie also sets the record straight on the myth that grit and quitting are opposite sides of the same coin. The concepts actually overlap.

We hope you enjoy this episode (and didn’t quit!). To help others find our podcast content, we would be grateful if you would write us a quick review on your podcast player. It helps us get noticed by other folk who are interested in podcasts about behavioral science. Thank you, and we appreciate your help.



(5:36) Annie’s story of quitting and her personal frustration.

(12:39) Grit and quit are NOT polar opposites.

(22:53) What are some of the psychological aspects that make quitting hard?

(36:31) What is the difference between loss aversion and sure loss aversion?

(42:29) Why we shouldn’t quit while we’re ahead.

(49:10) Gut feel vs rational decisions.

(53:29) What Mount Everest can teach us about when to quit.

(1:03:36) The second way to help you quit – a quitting coach.

(1:10:44) The backstory of Barry Staw.

(1:20:40) Grooving Session with Tim and Kurt about quitting.


© 2022 Behavioral Grooves


Other Episodes You Will Enjoy

Episode 31: Leaving the Matrix: Annie Duke and Insights into how you can improve your thinking!

Episode 125: Annie Duke on Hedging and the Last Disaster Syndrome

Episode 176, Annie Duke on How to Decide

Episode 310, Why You Can’t Find a Cab When It’s Raining – Groove Track


AIRDATE: October 17, 2022 EPISODE 323

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Quit: Why We Do It Too Late and How To Get Better At It with Annie Duke

Featured Guest

Annie Duke