Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Experiential regret aversion
Author: Lovelady, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 4606
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Regret is a negative emotion experienced upon the realisation that, had an alternative course of action been chosen, your current situation could have been improved. Psychologists and behavioural economists have long been interested in the extent to which both the anticipation and experience of this emotion can affect choice behaviour, when faced with the prospect of decision making under uncertainty and risk, where the resolution of uncertainty can have a significant effect on the degree to which an individual may regret the choice they ultimately decide to make. The literature in this area to date has principally focussed on the role of regret as an “anticipatory” emotion, whereby simply the fear of potentially regretting a course of action is sufficient to induce an individual to think twice about the decision they wish to make. More recently, however, the question has shifted to study the effects of the past “experience” of regret on subsequent decision making behaviour. This thesis both complements and challenges the existing literature in three ways. Firstly, a Monte Carlo simulation is used to introduce more realistic psychological assumptions, about the role of regret as an emotion, into a standard regret-based decision under uncertainty economic framework, and observes the patterns of behaviour which emerge when the mathematical formulation of regret is subject to the same biases and characteristics that we typically find with other emotions. Primarily, this concerns the degree to which an individual can learn about their future aversion towards regret from previous regretful experiences. Secondly, the small number of existing experiments, which aim to study the role of experienced regret on future choice, are challenged on the basis that their conclusions depend heavily on assumptions about the unobservable role regret plays in the mind of an individual. Indeed, the experimental results can be sensibly explained in a number of different ways such that opposite conclusions can be drawn. This problem is akin to the Identification Problem found in standard economics literature. Lastly, an experiment is designed and run which demonstrates that the extent to which the experience of regret affects future choice may be context dependent and population specific. The results show that we currently do not have a sufficiently strong theoretical understanding of how the anticipation of regret is connected to past choice in the mind of an individual.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HB Economic Theory