This research was initiated while the first author was teaching at Nanyang Technological University and completed while working at the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The paper was supported partially by the Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 70671099). The authors thank the anonymous referee for his or her helpful comments on the initial version of the manuscript; and Chua Libing, Leong Wan Bin, and Leong Yew Bin for their help in data collection.
Action/Inaction and Regret: The Moderating Effect of Closeness1
Article first published online: 27 MAR 2007
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 37, Issue 4, pages 807–821, April 2007
How to Cite
Li, S. and Liang, Z.-Y. (2007), Action/Inaction and Regret: The Moderating Effect of Closeness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37: 807–821. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2007.00187.x
- Issue published online: 27 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 27 MAR 2007
Kahneman & Tversky (1982) demonstrated that actions are regretted more than inactions. It was conjectured that (a) when action shared the same closeness as inaction but was neither to approach nor to retreat the desired outcome, the action was seen as futile so that it would evoke stronger reactions of regret; and (b) closeness moderated the effect of action such that the effect was stronger when the acting target was closer to a good outcome, but weaker when the acting target was further away from a good outcome. A total of 5 regret-triggering problems were presented to 150 undergraduates who rated actors' intensity of regret. The findings support that closeness is the moderator of the increased regret effect.