Regret aversion in reason-based choice

Terry Connolly, Jochen Reb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-51
Number of pages17
JournalTheory and Decision
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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