Original Empirical Research

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 181-190

First online:

Getting a second chance: the role of imagery in the influence of inaction regret on behavioral intent

  • Vanessa M. PatrickAffiliated withTerry College of Business, University of Georgia Email author 
  • , Matthew LancellottiAffiliated withCalifornia State University Fullerton
  • , Henrik HagtvedtAffiliated withTerry College of Business, University of Georgia

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Prior research has demonstrated that consumers who take an opportunity and are satisfied (satisfied takers) are likely to avail of a future opportunity when it is presented again but those who forsake an opportunity and experience regret (regretful forsakers) are less likely to do so, exhibiting inaction inertia. In this research we demonstrate when and why regret for inaction may result in the intent to avail of a future opportunity and compare this intent with that of satisfied consumers. Specifically, we demonstrate in two studies that (1) when consumers forgo an opportunity and experience regret, they are motivated to avail of a similar opportunity when it is presented in the future, and (2) this intent by regretful forsakers may be more intense than that experienced by satisfied customers due to the elicitation of mental imagery regarding the anticipated consumption episode.


Regret Satisfaction Affect Imagery Behavioral intent Emotions Decision making Consumption