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Reconsidering the relation between regret and responsibility

Zeelenberg, M., van Dijk, W. W. and Manstead, Antony Stephen Reid 1998. Reconsidering the relation between regret and responsibility. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 74 (3) , pp. 254-272. 10.1006/obhd.1998.2780

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Abstract

Recently Connolly, Ordóñez, and Coughlan challenged the view that regret is partly determined by perceived responsibility for the regretted outcome [Connolly, T. Ordóñez, L. D., & Coughlan, R. (1997). Regret and responsibility in the evaluation of decision outcomes.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 70, 73–85]. In a series of experiments they manipulated whether actors arrived at an outcome through their own decision or through a “computer assignment” over which they had no influence. This decision agency manipulation did not affect their “regret measure.” We show in two experiments that this null-effect is due to the fact that regret was measured by means of a general happiness assessment. In the present research we replicated the basic design of their experiments and also found no effects of decision agency on the happiness assessment. However, the results showed the predicted effects of decision agency when regret was directly measured. Moreover, a measure of disappointment seemed to indicate the opposite effect: People are more disappointed when a negative outcome is caused by a computer assignment than when caused by their own choice. The role of regret and disappointment in decision making is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0749-5978
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:12
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/34628

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