Presentation Title

Going Beyond Imagined Scenarios: Inducing Real Regret in Participants Using a Newly Developed Task

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

Unsuccessful management of emotion can mean the difference between a person flourishing or struggling with mental illness (Aldao & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2010) and is linked with lower life expectancy (Haga, Kraft, & Corby, 2009). For this reason, it is crucial to study how individuals use effective coping strategies in daily life. However, most studies on this topic attempt to induce emotion using written scenarios where participants imagine themselves as the protagonist, rather than through real emotion-eliciting events. This makes it difficult to generalize the findings to other contexts and is problematic because research suggests that people are not good at predicting their own behaviour (e.g., Poon, Koehler, & Buehler, 2014). The present study aimed to reliably induce real regret in both university and online samples using a newly developed task. In the task, participants believed they had the opportunity to win money in a game; however, the game was rigged such that all participants lost. Participants were led to believe that if they had tried a bit harder, they could have won. The game did induce significant levels of regret on the Regret Elements Scale as well as on a single item explicitly measuring self-reported regret. The results held across both the online and undergraduate samples. Therefore, the paradigm may provide a new way for future emotion regulation studies to examine regret in a more ecologically valid way.

Department

Psychology

Faculty Advisor

Catherine Ortner

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Going Beyond Imagined Scenarios: Inducing Real Regret in Participants Using a Newly Developed Task

Unsuccessful management of emotion can mean the difference between a person flourishing or struggling with mental illness (Aldao & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2010) and is linked with lower life expectancy (Haga, Kraft, & Corby, 2009). For this reason, it is crucial to study how individuals use effective coping strategies in daily life. However, most studies on this topic attempt to induce emotion using written scenarios where participants imagine themselves as the protagonist, rather than through real emotion-eliciting events. This makes it difficult to generalize the findings to other contexts and is problematic because research suggests that people are not good at predicting their own behaviour (e.g., Poon, Koehler, & Buehler, 2014). The present study aimed to reliably induce real regret in both university and online samples using a newly developed task. In the task, participants believed they had the opportunity to win money in a game; however, the game was rigged such that all participants lost. Participants were led to believe that if they had tried a bit harder, they could have won. The game did induce significant levels of regret on the Regret Elements Scale as well as on a single item explicitly measuring self-reported regret. The results held across both the online and undergraduate samples. Therefore, the paradigm may provide a new way for future emotion regulation studies to examine regret in a more ecologically valid way.