Augmenting the Theory of Planned Behavior: Roles for Anticipated Regret and Descriptive Norms1


  • 1

    We thank Sarah Milne, Paul Kuczinski, and Amanda Johnson for their help with data collection and inputting. We also thank David Trafimow and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

2 Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Paschal Sheeran, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK. E-mail:


Ajzen (1991) invited researchers to identify additional predictors of intentions and behavior after the effects of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control from the theory of planned behavior (TPB) have been taken into account. Findings from 3 correlational studies showed that anticipated regret and descriptive norms contributed substantial variance in intentions to play the lottery after the theory's predictors had been controlled. Study 4 used an experimental manipulation to confirm that anticipated regret increased intentions to play. Intentions were found to predict lottery play to a similar extent as other behaviors. Importantly, however, anticipated regret moderated the intention-behavior relation such that lottery play was greatest when participants both intended to play and anticipated regretting not playing.