The Concept of Commitment: Concrete Example Drawn from Life

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Commitment is a crucial concept for modern life in society. The phenomenon makes individuals’ behavior predictable when considering their interests and desires, making the planning of different life events easier. The principle of commitment implies that people need to be accepted as consistent, meaning that they tend to behave in a manner matching their previous decisions and behaviors. This consistency is required to facilitate the process of decision making, as it is always easier to find a solution, for acting in accordance with it every time a person faces the same problem. Such a behavior pattern is also good for social communication, as people usually do not like unpredictable individuals. Commitment and consistency are considered to be efficient tools for pushing people into achieving their goals and increasing engagement.

Consistent behavior exists at both the individual and social levels. According to the professor of psychology Cialdini, “once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision” (Fessenden, 2018, para. 6). Thus, by making a decision, the individual feels they are committed to it, meaning that they should fulfill the promised duties. For example, a person making a resolution to start running in the mornings feels the pressure of this promise and has good motivation to execute it. The effect is even better if the plan involves other people, thus, it is considered at the social level. For example, a person agrees to run in the mornings together with a friend, in this situation, the chance of following the planned scheme is higher. In society, inconsistency is regarded as a negative trait, as it is associated with cunning and incompetence. This attitude causes enormous pressure for the individual to remain consistent with their promises.

There are classifications developed by scientists, distinguishing several types of commitment. For example, in 2006, Herbert Clark proposed to separate commitments according to their recipient (Michael et al., 2016). According to this classification, there is a “self-commitment”, when an individual makes a promise to themselves, and “interpersonal commitment”, implying the one to another agent (Michael et al., 2016). Among commitments to others, there are unilateral ones, where the promise is given to a second agent, who is not committed to anything, and mutual ones, where all the involved sides are oriented to something (Michael et al., 2016). All the listed types are based on the understanding that commitment is a way of giving a solid promise to an agent, whether to oneself or to other individuals.

A concept of commitment is also meaningful and most identified in regard to marriages. In this situation, it suggests that a person is content with their partner, and does not search for another relationship, proving their fidelity. However, numerous statistics show that formalizing commitments through marriage involves a big risk of failure, as approximately half of the marriages face infidelity, and the divorce rates all over the world prove it. The problem of this situation is that people make promises about their behaviors and outcomes, but do not take into consideration what actions are required to achieve those aims. In relationships and marriages, the outcomes are love, fidelity, and the feeling of happiness. It is obvious that people usually do not focus on actions, required to reach it, as partners seldom commit to supporting their emotional intimacy.

From the personal experience with commitment and consistent behavior, a good example illustrating these notions is the case with my friend, Alice, who was constantly asking her parents to buy her a dog when she was a child. Her parents finally promised to accomplish her dream when she is thirteen. Since then, the girl counted the years remaining before receiving a dog. Fortunately, the parents kept their promise and showed consistent behavior by presenting Alice with a pet for her birthday. This is one example illustrating how important commitment is in our lives, and how it helps to support relationships between people.

In conclusion, commitment and consistent behavior are powerful motivators, helping to increase engagement and push people into achieving their goals. The promise, which is usually required to become committed, can be given to oneself, or other people, and it puts certain obligations on the person, making them fulfill what is planned. Commitment is also an essential notion in regard to intimate relationships, and marriages, implying that the partner, given a promise, claims to stay loyal, loving, and caring for the lifetime. However, the statistics and divorce rates show that these promises are rarely kept.


Ackerman C.E. (2020). What is happiness and why is it important? Positive Psychology. Web.

Fessenden, T. (2018). The principle of commitment and behavioral consistency. Nielsen Norman Group. Web.

Greg D., Smalley, E. (2020). Reconnected: Moving from roommates to soulmates in marriage. Focus on the Family. Web.

Michael J., Sebanz, N., Knoblich, G. (2016). The sense of commitment: A minimal approach. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. Web.

Miller, K.D. (2020). The 5 character strengths of wisdom in positive psychology. Positive Psychology. Web.

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"The Concept of Commitment: Concrete Example Drawn from Life." PsychologyWriting, 31 Jan. 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'The Concept of Commitment: Concrete Example Drawn from Life'. 31 January.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "The Concept of Commitment: Concrete Example Drawn from Life." January 31, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "The Concept of Commitment: Concrete Example Drawn from Life." January 31, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "The Concept of Commitment: Concrete Example Drawn from Life." January 31, 2022.