The omission bias is one that I find particularly common, both in sports and in business. It is even encoded in the Army’s tried and true mantra – “never volunteer for anything!”
Check out this article by Tobias Moskowitz passed along by our friends at Freakonomics. Of particular note is the costs we incur by not doing something that are recognized much less than those of doing something wrong. It is very much related to the concept of opportunity cost, which I always feel a bit ridiculous in raising in a business setting.
The likelihood is that those words simply bring back unpleasant memories of a long-forgotten economics class.