The Role of Regret Under Task Difficulty: a Boomerang Effect

Kirsten Passyn, Salisbury University, USA
Mita Sujan, Tulane University, USA
We replicate Passyn and Sujan’s (2006) finding that regret relative to fear messages enhance behavioral intentions and extend these findings to difficult tasks. As previously predicted, increasing task difficulty decreased perceptions of self-efficacy and self-protection behaviors under fear. However, we find that regret motivates self-protection behaviors in both high and low difficulty tasks and further there is a boomerang effect. That is self-efficacy and self-protection behaviors are strongest in the regret high task difficulty condition. Thus in contrast to fear, regret results in a boomerang effect enhancing self-efficacy and self-protection intentions for high difficulty tasks relative to low difficulty tasks.
[ to cite ]:
Kirsten Passyn and Mita Sujan (2009) ,"The Role of Regret Under Task Difficulty: a Boomerang Effect", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1056-1056.