For hypotheticals 1-5 beneath, pretend that the setback (loss of the money in 1-2, snowstorm in 4, or tennis elbow in 5) upset the victim so much that he can no longer enjoy, and so abandons, the planned activity. Doesn't the victim's woe (reasonable, I think) disprove these hypotheticals as being fallacies, let alone the Sunk Cost Fallacy?
[ Source: ] [1.] Imagine you go see a movie which costs $10 for a ticket. When you open your wallet or purse you realize you’ve lost a $10 bill. Would you still buy a ticket? You probably would. Only 12 percent of subjects said they wouldn’t.
[2.] Now, imagine you go to see the movie and pay $10 for a ticket, but right before you hand it over to get inside you realize you’ve lost it. Would you go back and buy another ticket? Maybe, but it would hurt a lot more. In the experiment, 54 percent of people said they would not.
The situation is the exact same. You lose $10 and then must pay $10 to see the movie, but the second scenario feels different. It seems as if the money was assigned to a specific purpose and then lost, and loss sucks. [...]
Source: p 276, Choices, Values, and Frames by Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky
Example 4. A family pays $40 for tickets to a basketball game to be played 60 miles from their home. On the day of the game there is a snowstorm. They decide to go anyway, but note in passing that had the tickets been given to them, they would have stayed home.
Example 5. A man joins a tennis club and pays a $300 yearly membership fee. After two weeks of playing he develops a tennis elbow. He continues to play (in pain) saying, "I don't want to waste the $300!"