Regret is an important emotion in the context of decision making and has many implications for the behavior of consumers. Although regret may be an inevitable outcome, it is possible to cope with it through various regulation strategies. This research investigates one of those strategies, namely, decrease the goal level strategy (DGL), in which one regulates regret by reevaluating the negativity of an outcome. Two properly powered and preregistered experimental studies find that the DGL strategy effectively works in regulating individuals' post-decisional regret. Besides, the DGL effect is moderated by individuals' maximizing tendency. When maximizers engaged in the DGL strategy, by reappraising their decision and recognizing positive alternative goals, they regulated their regrets more successfully. For satisficers, in contrast, who are by default more prone to adopt the protective “good enough” choice, engaging in a DGL strategy did not affect their regrets. These results contribute to the literature on regret by empirically testing DGL as an effective regret regulation strategy, showing mechanisms that can help individuals to effectively cope with regret.
- Decrease goal level
- Regret regulation