Cold anticipated regret versus hot experienced regret: Why consumers fail to regret unhealthy consumption

Haeeun Helen Chun, Joowon Park, Manoj Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goal of this research is to study why consumers might fail to experience regret after unhealthy consumption. Specifically, we examine how anticipated regret before the unhealthy consumption and experienced regret after the consumption differ. We find that immediate postconsumption regret tends to be less intense than anticipated regret. We additionally find that immediate postconsumption regret tends to be less intense than delayed postconsumption regret. These effects are stronger for people with stronger self-control goals. The results suggest that anticipated and delayed postconsumption regret are "cold" assessments based on the discrepancy between goals and behaviors, whereas immediate postconsumption regret is a "hot" emotional experience. Negative arousal activated by hot regret triggers a defensive response that reduces the intensity of immediate postconsumption regret. Somewhat paradoxically, the results suggest that consumers are likely to be least remorseful immediately after their unhealthy consumption, compared to prior to or long after the consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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