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Darren Dahl (Editor in Chief)Eileen FischerGita JoharVicki Morwitz

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Regret: A Model of Its Antecedents and Consequences in Consumer Decision Making

Michael Tsiros, Vikas Mittal
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/209571 401-417 First published online: 1 March 2000


The article develops a model of regret and tests it via four studies. Study 1 develops a multi-item measure of regret and distinguishes it from satisfaction. It also shows that, while satisfaction directly influences both repurchase and complaint intentions, regret directly influences only repurchase intentions, and its effect on complaint intentions is fully mediated via satisfaction. Study 2 examines the antecedents and moderators of regret. It shows that regret is experienced even in the absence of information on a better-forgone outcome. Furthermore, the moderating effect of three situation-specific characteristics (outcome valence, status quo preservation, and reversibility of the outcome) is examined. Studies 3 and 4 examine the cognitive process underlying the experiencing of regret in the absence of information on a better-forgone outcome. Generation of counterfactuals is identified as the cognitive mechanism that engenders regret. Results show that counterfactuals are most likely to be generated when the chosen outcome is negative and not the status quo.

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