Life regrets and the need to belong

Mike Morrison*, Kai Epstude, Neal J. Roese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The present research documents a link between regret and the need to belong. Across five studies, using diverse methods and samples, the authors established that regrets involving primarily social relationships (e.g., romance and family) are felt more intensely than less socially based regrets (e.g., work and education). The authors ruled out alternative explanations for this pattern and found that it is best explained by the extent to which regrets are judged to constitute threats to belonging. Threats to belonging at the regret level and the need to belong at the individual level were strong predictors of regret intensity across multiple regret domains. These findings highlight the central role social connectedness plays in what people regret most.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-681
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • belonging
  • life domain
  • love
  • need t.b.long
  • regret
  • social impact
  • work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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