Anticipated regret, expected feedback and behavioral decision making
- ISSN: 08943257
- ISBN: 1099-0771
- DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-0771(199906)12:2<93::AID-BDM311>3.0.CO;2-S
This paper addresses the effects of the anticipation of regret on decision making under uncertainty. Regret is a negative, cognitively based emotion that we experience when realizing or imagining that our present situation would have been better, had we decided didfferently. The experience of post-decisional regret is for a large part conditional on the knowledge of the outcomes of the rejected alternatives. A series of studies is reviewed in which it is shown that whether or not decision makers expect post-decisional feedback on rejected alternatives has a profound influence on the decisions they make. These studies, focusing on choice between gambles, consumer decision making and interpersonal decision making, also show that anticipated regret can promote risk-averse as well as risk-seeking choices. The review of empirical studies is followed by a discussion of the conditions under which we can expect the anticipation of regret to take place.