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Regulation of experienced and anticipated regret for daily decisions in younger and older adults in a Swedish one-week diary study

Journal article
Authors Pär Bjälkebring
Daniel Västfjäll
Boo Johansson
Published in GeroPsych
Volume 26
Issue 4
Pages 233-241
ISSN 1662-9647
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 233-241
Language en
Keywords Age, Decision making, Emotion, Regret, Regret regulation, adult, aged, anticipated regret, anticipation, article, daily life activity, experience, female, human, male, middle aged, prevalence, priority journal, very elderly, young adult
Subject categories Psychology


Regret and regret regulation were studied using a weeklong web-based diary method. 108 participants aged 19 to 89 years reported regret for a decision made and a decision to be made. They also reported the extent to which they used strategies to prevent or regulate decision regret. Older adults reported both less experienced and anticipated regret compared to younger adults. The lower level of experienced regret in older adults was mediated by reappraisal of the decision. The lower level of anticipated regret was mediated by delaying the decision, and expecting regret in older adults. It is suggested that the lower level of regret observed in older adults is partly explained by regret prevention and regulation strategies.

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