Generality and cultural variation in the experience of regret
On December 2, Seger Breugelmans, PhD (Assistant Professor at Tilburg University, Netherlands, and Deputy Laboratory Head at ISCL-SCR) took part in “Culture matters” research seminar.
Dr. Breugelmans presented his study “Generality and cultural variation in the experience of regret”, conducted together with Marcel Zeelenberg, Thomas Gilovich, and Wen-Hsien Huang.
The goal of the study was to define universals and culture-specific differences in the experience of regret. 553 participants from USA, the Netherlands, Israel and Taiwan took part in the study. The data showed that the emotional part of the experience of regret seems to be universal – when answering 24 questions on cognitions and emotions associated with regret, participants from different countries made remarkably similar answers and differentiated clearly between regret, guilt, and disappointment. However, there were cultural differences in the strength and frequency of the experience of regret in interpersonal (regrets about outcomes affecting others) and intrapersonal (regrets about outcomes affecting the self) situations. Participants from the USA experienced regret more often in intrapersonal context, while participants in Taiwan had stronger and more frequent experiences of interpersonal regret.
After the presentation Dr. Breugelmans answered the questions from the audience.