Effort Invested in Vain: The Impact of Effort on the Intensity of Disappointment and Regret1


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Two scenario studies investigated the impact of the investment of instrumental and noninstrumental effort on the intensity of disappointment and regret. The role of effort was investigated in the context of other determinants of disappointment and regret: the desirability of the outcome, its likelihood, and the perceived responsibility for (not) obtaining the outcome. Study 1 shows that after failure, disappointment is more intense after an investment of higher levels of instrumental effort, whereas regret is more intense an investment of less instrumental effort. Study 2 shows that both disappointment and regret are more intense after an investment of higher levels of noninstrumental effort. Further analyses suggest that the effect of instrumental effort on disappointment is due to a direct effect of the investment of effort. The effect of instrumental effort on disappointment was mediated by the perceived likelihood of attaining the outcome and also related to the perceived desirability of the outcome. The impact of instrumental effort on regret was found to be due to a direct effect of the investment of effort, and to the perceived responsibility for not attaining the outcome. The effect of the investment of noninstrumental effort on the intensity of both disappointment and regret was found to be due to a direct effect of effort. Desirability also affected disappointment (with increased desirability leading to higher levels of disappointment), whereas only regret was affected by perceived responsibility. Implications of these findings for the study of disappointment and regret are discussed.

    loading  Loading Related Articles