When we are asked to act, we do so only if we feel at least minimally competent to do what is asked of us. We need to feel that our actions will ultimately be successful. Without some expectation of success, we are unlikely to act at all and will rather resign ourselves to letting fate take its course. We often redirect our thinking from our actual goals to the goal of preserving a sense of our competence. This act of self-protection is essential to maintaining a minimum capacity to act.
Dietrich Dörner The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations