Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 181–190

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


    • Terry College of BusinessUniversity of Georgia
  • Matthew Lancellotti
    • California State University Fullerton
  • Henrik Hagtvedt
    • Terry College of BusinessUniversity of Georgia
Original Empirical Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11747-008-0119-8

Cite this article as:
Patrick, V.M., Lancellotti, M. & Hagtvedt, H. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. (2009) 37: 181. doi:10.1007/s11747-008-0119-8


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

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© Academy of Marketing Science 2008