When writing an article on the topic of remorse, you might be tempted to use the word regret. This can be an ambiguous word, which is why you need to be careful when using it. By taking into consideration some of the synonyms used to describe remorse, you can come up with an accurate description of the term.
Regret is an emotion that occurs when a person feels a sense of regret regarding a decision. The emotion has a behavioral function in that it modifies the negative outcome of a decision. However, it can also produce positive results. This can be in the form of a change in the type of choice that a person makes in the future.
There are several types of regret. One of the most common is remorse. Remorse is associated with a feeling of intense regret about a wrongdoing. People who experience remorse tend to have a strong desire to make changes to improve the situation. In some cases, a person can feel remorse for a lifetime. It is most common for people to experience remorse for wrongs that have unremediable consequences.
Self-blame is another emotion that is associated with regret. People who experience self-blame often attribute their own death to their own mistakes. They might feel guilty or ashamed of their actions and act in an inappropriate way. Self-blame is a form of negative cognition that is not a healthy response to grief. Some studies have suggested that it may be the cause of psychological distress in individuals who have experienced bereavement. A recent longitudinal study has examined the relationship between self-blame and regret.
While the attribution of a bad decision to one’s own actions is the simplest way to measure regret, the true-false format of the item is not ideal for measuring the true nature of regret. Therefore, researchers decided to look at four post-decision emotions to examine the differences between them. These include remorse, shame, joy, and satisfaction.
Several studies have examined the similarities and differences between regret and other decision-related emotions. Among the most important are the differences in the scales of regret, the strength of remorse, and the corresponding effects on decision-making. For example, some studies have shown that regret can be more intense for certain occupations and non-choice situations. Although some studies have noted a correlation between the intensity of regret and the controllability of eliciting events, others have raised questions about this relationship.
Unlike most other decision-related emotions, the concept of self-blame is not well understood. Although it is sometimes associated with the perception that someone has failed to live up to a standard, it is not always the case. Rather, self-blame is typically associated with a sense of failure to meet the standards of the deceased.
Research into regret has been largely overlooked in the last few years. Although research into the topic has increased over the past few years, most of it has been conducted in Japanese participants. This raises some questions about the generality of these findings with western participants. As a result, the field of study on regret has stagnated.
Regret is the emotion we often experience when an event happens that we wish we had not had. It is also an uncomfortable emotion, one that can lead to self-blame and poor self-perception. Using analogies to describe regret can help to move this difficult emotion to a more analytical place. Here are some examples:
Having a feeling of regret is similar to having a feeling of anger. This emotion is more prevalent in older people. Compared with younger people, they tend to regret more things related to their family, health, and education. In fact, according to a survey of Americans, approximately 22% of participants said they regretted their family relationships. Similarly, about 19% of respondents regretted their romantic relationships.
Another similarity between regret and anger is that both emotions are associated with disappointment. Regret is elicited by a negative outcome, while anger is elicited by a positive outcome. Depending on the circumstances, a person may regret having made the wrong choice or choosing the right choice. Having a desire to change a decision is considered a specific characteristic of regret. Unlike sadness and guilt, anger toward a situation does not typically affect self-esteem.
Another important aspect of regret is the attribution of blame and responsibility to oneself. These two characteristics have been suggested to be discriminant criteria for separating regret from other decision-related emotions. However, the mainstream position on regret holds that the person making the decision has to have free will and the ability to choose.
The structure of regret can be summed up by its phenomenology, which consists of the following: self-blame, personal agency, and a desire to modify the choice. When the attribution of blame or responsibility is absent, the emotions of regret and anger are not elicited.
Several studies have explored the relationship between regret intensity and the controllability of eliciting events. Among those studies, one study by Wilkinson and colleagues found that the level of regret for controllable events is generally high. However, there was a slight decrease when the outcome was positive. On the other hand, the level of regret was always high when an uncontrollable event occurred.
One study by Wrzesniewski, Miller, and Reiter (2006) found that regret was more intense among individuals who had not chosen a particular occupation. They also found that the intensity of regret increased with negative outcomes. Researchers who studied the facial expressions of Olympic medalists found that the degree of regret was higher among those who were not gold, silver, or bronze medalists.
Another research study, by Matarazzo and Abbamonte (2008), failed to find any relationship between the justifiability of the choice and the occurrence of regret. Nevertheless, the authors concluded that the intensity of regret increased with external attributions, such as being a victim of the incident.