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Regret: A Model of Its Antecedents and Consequences in Consumer Decision Making


  • Tsiros, Michael
  • Mittal, Vikas


The article develops a model of regret and tests it via four studies. Study 1 develops a multi-item measure of regret and distinguishes it from satisfaction. It also shows that, while satisfaction directly influences both repurchase and complaint intentions, regret directly influences only repurchase intentions, and its effect on complaint intentions is fully mediated via satisfaction. Study 2 examines the antecedents and moderators of regret. It shows that regret is experienced even in the absence of information on a better-foregone outcome. Furthermore, the moderating effect of three situation-specific characteristics (outcome valence, status quo preservation, and reversibility of the outcome) is examined. Studies 3 and 4 examine the cognitive process underlying the experiencing of regret in the absence of information on a better-foregone outcome. Generation of counterfactuals is identified as the cognitive mechanism that engenders regret. Results show that counterfactuals are most likely to be generated when the chosen outcome is negative and not the status quo. Copyright 2000 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Tsiros, Michael & Mittal, Vikas, 2000. "Regret: A Model of Its Antecedents and Consequences in Consumer Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 26(4), pages 401-417, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:26:y:2000:i:4:p:401-17
    DOI: 10.1086/209571

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