Navigation Links
When Americans Think of Regrets, Love Tops List
Date:6/28/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Whether it's the great guy who got away or the dead-end relationship that went on way too long, regrets involving romance are most commonly cited by Americans when asked about things they wish they'd done differently.

Researchers at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign surveyed 370 adults aged 19 to 103 about their regrets. Each was asked to describe, in detail, one decision they came to rue.

About 18 percent cited regrets involving romance. That was followed closely by regrets about family (16 percent), education (13 percent) and career (12 percent), finance (10 percent) and parenting (9 percent).

Women were more likely than men to have regrets about romantic or family relationships. About 44 percent of the regrets described by women were about relationship mistakes compared to 19 percent of men's.

"It speaks to something psychologists have known for a long time. Women are typically charged with the role of maintaining and preserving relationships, so when things do go wrong, it's very spontaneous for women to think, 'I should have done it some other way,'" said senior study author Neal Roese, a psychologist and professor of marketing at Northwestern. "It's how men and women are raised in this culture."

Men, on the other hand, were more likely to have regrets about work or education -- 34 percent compared to women's 26 percent, the study found.

Many of the regrets around work involved missed opportunities -- turning down a job instead of going for it, failing to take risks that could have led to a more fulfilling career. "There was a sense of frustration that a job doesn't reflect inner passion," Roese said of the study recently published online in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Those with less education were more likely to have education regrets. And those with more education were more likely to have career regrets.

"As people rise higher in our culture, there is a perception of greater opportunities," Roese said. "Paradoxically, the more opportunities you have, the more ways you can see how you could have gotten more . . . Opportunity fuels the regret experience."

So does this mean you should quit your desk job to realize your dream of working with horses or sailing the world?

Maybe, Roese said. In the survey, people were free to describe a short-term regret or a regret that lingered a lifetime.

Short-term regrets tended to be about things people did -- say, accidentally hitting "reply all" on an email, or forgetting to call Mom on Mother's Day.

But the long-lasting regrets were more often about things that people didn't do, such as never expressing their feelings to a loved one or taking a career risk.

"When you look to the recent past, you are more likely to kick yourself for blurting out something inappropriate at dinner or buying something you couldn't afford," he said. "When you look back at your own past to long ago, you are more likely to see things you should have or could have done. A lost love. A job you could have had."

Over time, people rationalize their actions, explaining away their mistakes, Roese pointed out. But when it comes to inaction, people forget the barriers that kept them from taking the action -- they only remember that they didn't try.

"When people reflect on the past, which is what regret does, we ruminate about the things that didn't go well but we don't savor the good times," said Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago. "We are much more impacted by the negative stuff."

And though regret can be painful, a life without regret isn't only near impossible, it would lack a fundamental emotion that spurs people to avoid future mistakes.

"Regret is an essential part of the human experience," Roese said. "You should listen to the lessons your regrets tell you, which is quite often how you could have done things differently or how you could change things."

Everyone makes mistakes, Ferrari added. "It's how you get up, and how you rebound, that matters," he said. "Instead of letting regret dominate life, savor what you do have, and what did go right . . . We need to look more in terms of our strengths, and not our weaknesses."

More information

To learn more about decision-making, visit the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

SOURCES: Neal Roese, Ph.D., professor, marketing department, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.; Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., professor, psychology, DePaul University, Chicago; March 14, 2011, Social Psychological and Personality Science, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. CT angiography improves detection of heart disease in African-Americans
2. Surge in Number of Americans Treated for Prescription Painkiller Abuse
3. Why disparities in dental care persist for African-Americans even when they have insurance coverage
4. Income Disparities May Be Making Americans Unhappy
5. More Than 1 Million Americans Now Living With HIV: CDC
6. On-the-Job Activity Boosts Americans Exercise Levels
7. Low vitamin D levels seen as multiple sclerosis risk for African-Americans, UCSF study finds
8. Black Americans With Lupus Have Better Response to Flu Vaccine
9. African-Americans with SLE more responsive to flu vaccine than patients of European descent
10. Spring Cleaning Lands Many Americans in Hot Water
11. African Americans and the general public support banning menthol in cigarettes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
When Americans Think of Regrets, Love Tops List
(Date:1/22/2017)... ... January 22, 2017 , ... Medical lab testing ... the results of a simple test will take days to arrive to the end ... offers customers direct access to their lab tests, bypassing the cost and delay of ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 21, 2017 , ... Seamild, the ... on the futuristic vision of its owner and founder. As Oat is recognized globally ... to everybody he knows personally as he believes it is a move to sow ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... , ... January 21, 2017 , ... ... its new medical office in Petaluma, located at 167 Lynch Creek Way. The ... to SRO sports medicine and rehabilitation services and on-site x-ray services. ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... A new partnership between Goodwill® and Roadie, ... use or need, from clothes to couches to dressers and bicycles. Roadie — the ... to the nearest Goodwill donation center through February 28th. , “January is an ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 20, 2017 , ... Bionic Sports ... all walks of life, announced it had a successful January ECRM Trade Show in ... in the United States, which allows it to provide its products to all clients ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 Many patients don,t realize that they ... a pharmacy just a few blocks away charges only ... problem Medicationdiscountcard.com has created a price comparison ... much their medication will cost at most nearby pharmacies. ... Medicationdiscountcard.com takes all of the ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , January 19, 2017 Incretin Mimetics/GLP-1 Agonists, ... Others The global anti-obesity drugs market is ... half of the forecast period and CAGR of 38.7% in the ... grow at a CAGR of 32.8% from 2016 to 2027. The ... 2021, and $24,063 million in 2027. ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY ) announced ... set the bar for excellence in customer satisfaction. The ... rating among radiation treatment delivery systems in the U.S., ... Briefing™. The most recent ratings trend also shows Accuray ... for 11 of the past 12 quarters. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: