Fresh Look – the wisdom of back-up plans
You are going into politically charged meeting and have a game plan for how it will unfold. The meeting takes an unexpected turn, but you have a back-up plan and shift to it. Sounds wise, doesn’t it? Not necessarily. On the face of it, back-up plans seems prudent, but actually, their existence ups the chances that you will use them whether they are superior to the original plan or not. In our hypothetical case above, the original approach you used in the politically charged meeting might well have been better than the back-up. It is important that you keep this back-up plan paradox in mind when you are planning. Otherwise, you might reject your original course of action prematurely or when it is unwarranted.
 C. Napolitano & A. Freund. 2017. First evidence for “the backup plan paradox.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146 (8): 1189–1203.