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ERIC Number: EJ817416
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0285
Regret as Autobiographical Memory
Davison, Ian M.; Feeney, Aidan
Cognitive Psychology, v57 n4 p385-403 Dec 2008
We apply an autobiographical memory framework to the study of regret. Focusing on the distinction between regrets for specific and general events we argue that the temporal profile of regret, usually explained in terms of the action-inaction distinction, is predicted by models of autobiographical memory. In two studies involving participants in their sixties we demonstrate a reminiscence bump for general, but not for specific regrets. Recent regrets were more likely to be specific than general in nature. Coding regrets as actions/inactions revealed that general regrets were significantly more likely to be due to inaction while specific regrets were as likely to be due to action as to inaction. In Study 2 we also generalised all of these findings to a group of participants in their 40s. We re-interpret existing accounts of the temporal profile of regret within the autobiographical memory framework, and outline the practical and theoretical advantages of our memory-based distinction over traditional decision-making approaches to the study of regret. (Contains 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A