- The experience of regret and disapointment
- Cognition & Emotion
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Regret and disappointment have in common the fact that they are experienced when the outcome of a decision is unfavourable: They both concern “what might have been”, had things been different. However, some regret and disappointment theorists regard the differences between these emotions as important, arguing that they differ with respect to the conditions under which they are felt, and how they affect decision making. The goal of the present research was to examine whether and how these emotions also differ with respect to the way in which they are experienced. Participants were asked torecall aninstance of intense regret or disappointment andto indicate what they felt, thought, felt like doing, did, and were motivated to do during this experience (cf. Roseman, Wiest, & Swartz, 1994). Significant differences between regret and disappointment were found in every category. These differences were most pronounced for “action tendencies” (what participants felt like doing) and “emotivations” (what they were motivated to do). These results suggest that the two emotions have differential implications for future behaviour.
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