Where disappointment and regret collide: agency, emotion, and hindsight bias Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Jonsson, Eulena M.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Emotions serve as sources of information to the decision-maker and thus can impact the judgment and decision-making biases people are prone to exhibit. This dissertation examines the role of specific emotions such as disappointment, relief, regret, and satisfaction in the generation of hindsight bias or the knew-it-all-along effect after self-relevant outcomes. I proposed that such emotions provide agency or attribution information to the decision-maker. Specifically, I hypothesized that when people do not feel responsible for the outcome received, or circumstances-agency, they experience disappointment and relief. Hindsight bias would be shown after disappointment but not after relief. When people do feel responsible for the outcome received, or self-agency, they experience regret and satisfaction. In this case hindsight bias would not be shown after regret, but would be shown after satisfaction. Study 1 (n equals 116) found support for the hypotheses made in the self-agency condition, but not in the circumstances-agency condition. Study 2 (n equals 260) demonstrated that it is difficult to change the emotions that participants feel, with some changes evidenced in direct emotion measures. In regards to hypotheses about hindsight bias effects, the findings of Study 2 largely replicated those of Study 1.
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  • In Copyright
  • Sanna, Lawrence J.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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