In three studies we examined the effects of action/inaction, social normality (i.e., how typical the decision is in one’s social environment) and decision process carefulness on anticipated regret. Whereas past research has drawn on norm theory (Kahneman & Miller, 1986) to emphasize the role of mutability in (anticipated) regret, the present studies highlight the important role of perceptions of decision justifiability (Connolly & Zeelenberg, 2002). Study 1 replicated earlier findings showing greater anticipated regret when behavior was abnormal, but perceived justifiability mediated the effect. Study 2 showed that anticipated regret was higher for careless than for careful decisions; perceived decision justifiability again mediated the effect. Study 3 found that, when both carefulness and normality information was provided, only the former affected anticipated regret, again mediated by perceived justifiability. Decision justification theory thus appears to provide a better account of anticipated regret intensity in this context than does norm theory.
Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources
REB, J. and Connolly, T..
The Effects of Action, Normality, and Decision Carefulness on Anticipated Regret: Evidence for a Broad Mediating Role of Decision Justifiability. (2007). Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/497