ERIC Number: EJ777442
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Whatever Happened to "What Might Have Been"? Regrets, Happiness, and Maturity
King, Laura A.; Hicks, Joshua A.
American Psychologist, v62 n7 p625-636 Oct 2007
Although lost opportunities and mistaken expectations are unpleasant to think and talk about, these experiences may have a role to play in personality development. Drawing on research using narratives of lost possible selves, the authors review the relations of regrettable experiences to 2 important and independent aspects of maturity, happiness and complexity. Thinking about a lost possible self is related to concurrent regrets, distress, and lowered well-being; however, elaborating on a lost possible self is related, concurrently, to complexity and predicts complexity, prospectively, over time. In this article, the authors describe the role that regrettable experiences have in promoting both happiness and complexity. Finally, expanding on previous work, the authors examine potential affordances of happy maturity and suggest psychological capacities that may promote happy maturity.
Descriptors: Maturity (Individuals), Personality Development, Psychological Patterns, Psychological Characteristics, Well Being, Experience, Influences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A