Regret: The Roles of Consistency-Fit and Counterfactual Salience

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Todd McElroy Ph.D. (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Four studies examined the role of a decision's consistency with the orientation of the decision-maker in determining regret. In accordance with our consistency-fit model of regret, the consistency of a decision in relation to decision-makers' goals (Experiments 1), mood states (Experiment 3), and personality orientations (Experiments 2 and 4) predicted regret levels such that consistent decisions were less regrettable than decisions that were inconsistent. In Experiment 1, consistent decisions were defined in relation to decision-makers' goals of changing their typical behavior. Results revealed that decisions that were consistent with the goals of changing their typical behavior were less regrettable. In addition, Experiments 2-4 found that the salience of counterfactuals augmented participants' feelings of regret, supporting the view that accessible alternatives to chosen courses of behavior can serve as affective cues. Implications of a consistency-fit view of regret for norm theory, self-regulation and affect as information were discussed.

Additional Information

Seta, C.E., Seta, J.J., McElroy, T., & Hatz, J. (2008). Regret: The roles of consistency-fit and counterfactual salience. Social Cognition, 26(6): 700-719. Published by Guilford Press (ISSN: 0278-016X). Copyright Guilford Press. Reprinted with permission of The Guilford Press.
Language: English
Date: 2008

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