Loss aversion describes a phenomenon where the pain of losing is more powerful than the pleasure of gaining

As a consequence, we gravitate towards negativity and focus more on the risk of losing.

In other words, I will be more annoyed to lose 10$ than I will be happy to find 10$.

To some extend, we seek perceived losses, we are more aware of it.


  1. First academic publication on the topic :

Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1977). Prospect Theory. An Analysis of Decision Making Under Risk. doi:10.21236/ada045771

  1. Established a quantitative relationship, pain of losing to be twice the desire to gain :

Putler, D. S. (1992). Incorporating Reference Price Effects into a Theory of Consumer Choice. Marketing Science, 11(3), 287-309. doi:10.1287/mksc.11.3.287