Author(s): Komiya A, Miyamoto Y, Watabe M, Kusumi T
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to explore cultural similarities and differences in regret, focusing on distinctions between interpersonal and self-situations, and between action and inaction regrets. Japanese and American undergraduates were asked to describe regrets experienced in interpersonal and self-situations. We found that both situational and cultural contexts influenced the likelihood of regretting inactions over actions. Participants were more likely to recall inaction regrets in self-situations than in interpersonal situations, and that the likelihood of recalling inaction regrets was more pronounced for Americans than for Japanese. Furthermore, we examined the intensity of the regret. Whereas American students experienced regret as intense as that of Japanese students in self-situations, Japanese students experienced regret more strongly than American students in interpersonal situations. Detailed content analysis also showed that individuals experienced regret in ways consistent with cultural values. The situational and cultural grounding of regret is discussed.
This article was published in Cogn Emot
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology