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Regret aversion in reason-based choice

Abstract

This research examines the moderating role of regret aversion in reason-based choice. Earlier research has shown that regret aversion and reason-based choice effects are linked through a common emphasis on decision justification, and that a simple manipulation of regret salience can eliminate the decoy effect, a well-known reason-based choice effect. We show here that the effect of regret salience varies in theory-relevant ways from one reason-based choice effect to another. For effects such as the select/reject and decoy effect, both of which were independently judged to be unreasonable bases for deciding, regret salience eliminated the effect. For the most-important attribute effect that is judged to be normatively acceptable, however, regret salience amplified the effect. Anticipated self-blame regret and perceived decision justifiability consistently predicted preferences and thus offer a parsimonious account of both attenuation and amplification of these reason-based choice effects.

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Correspondence to Terry Connolly.

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Connolly, T., Reb, J. Regret aversion in reason-based choice. Theory Decis 73, 35–51 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11238-011-9269-0

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Keywords

  • Decision justification
  • Reason-based choice
  • Regret
  • Regret aversion
  • Decoy effect
  • Accept/reject effect
  • Most important attribute effect