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Regret Theory

 

Explanations > Theories > Regret Theory

Description | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

People know that when they make a decision they will feel regret if they make the wrong decision. They thus take this anticipated regret into account when they decide. 

This is probably what makes them loss-averse.

When thinking ahead, they may experience anticipatory regret, as they realize that they may regret in the future. This can be a powerful dissuader or create a specific motivation to do one thing in order to avoid something else.

Example

When I go to buy a car, I am so terrified of buying a heap of junk, I read many magazines and ask lots of knowledgeable friends first. And I listen to their advice rather than buying the car that I think looks the nicest. 

So what?

Using it

Remind the other person of what they may lose if they do not agree with you. Show what they may regret.

Defending

Remember to anticipate the joy of gain. Be realistic about gains and losses.

See also

Counterfactual Thinking, Prospect Theory

References

Bell (1982), Loomes and Sugden (1982, 1983, 1987)

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