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Regret aversion and the reluctance to exchange lottery tickets

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  • van de Ven, Niels
  • Zeelenberg, Marcel

Abstract

The current research finds that people are willing to forego a direct material gain, if that protects them from future regrets. In two experiments participants endowed with a lottery ticket were offered to exchange their ticket for another ticket from the same lottery. Even though they could receive a bonus for exchanging, many participants chose not to do so. Experiment 1 finds that a manipulation that prevented the anticipation of regret by offering the ticket in a sealed envelope made more participants exchange their ticket. Experiment 2 finds that an increased potential of regret over not-exchanging made more participants exchange as well. In both experiments the effect of the manipulation on choices is mediated by anticipated regret. The experiments show that people are willing to forego a material gain to prevent future regrets and that the reluctance to exchange lottery tickets is (partly) caused by regret aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • van de Ven, Niels & Zeelenberg, Marcel, 2011. "Regret aversion and the reluctance to exchange lottery tickets," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 194-200, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:1:p:194-200
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:136:y:2017:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Giorgetta, Cinzia & Zeelenberg, Marcel & Ferlazzo, Fabio & D’Olimpio, Francesca, 2012. "Cultural variation in the role of responsibility in regret and disappointment: The Italian case," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 726-737.
    3. Shalvi, Shaul & Reijseger, Gaby & Handgraaf, Michel J.J. & Appelt, Kirstin C. & ten Velden, Femke S. & Giacomantonio, Mauro & De Dreu, Carsten K.W., 2013. "Pay to walk away: Prevention buyers prefer to avoid negotiation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 40-49.
    4. Santiago I. Sautua, 2016. "Does Uncertainty Cause Inertia In Decision Making? An Experimental Study Of The Role Of Regret Aversion And Indecisiveness," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 014587, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    5. Kogler, Christoph & Kühberger, Anton & Gilhofer, Rainer, 2013. "Real and hypothetical endowment effects when exchanging lottery tickets: Is regret a better explanation than loss aversion?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 42-53.
    6. Michał Wiktor Krawczyk & Joanna Rachubik, 2018. "Verifying the representativeness heuristic: A field experiment with real-life lottery tickets," Working Papers 2018-03, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    7. Emmanuel PETIT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113) & Anna TCHERKASSOF (LIP/PC2S) & Xavier GASSMANN (INRA), 2011. "Anticipated regret and self-esteem in the Allais paradox," Cahiers du GREThA 2011-25, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

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