Regret and behavior: Comment on Zeelenberg and Pieters

Neal J. Roese*, Amy Summerville, Florian Fessel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Zeelenberg and Pieter's (2007) regret regulation theory 1.0 offers a synthesis that brings together concepts spanning numerous literatures. We have no substantive disagreement with their theory, but instead offer 3 observations to further aid regret researchers studying consumer decision making. First, the overall arch of any regret theory must be situated within an understanding of behavior regulation. Second, the distinction between regrets of action versus inaction is best understood in terms of motivational implications, particularly with regard to Higgin's (1998) distinction between promotion and prevention focus. Third, the opportunity principle offers a particularly clear means of summarizing the regulatory consequences of the regret experience. Regret is an emotion pivotal for decision making, and its cognitive underpinning has and continues to be elucidated in research focusing on counterfactual thinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

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