My research is focused on understanding when and why people think about “what might have been,” and the effects of these thoughts in applied, everyday contexts. I’m particularly interested in the experience of regret, the negative emotion stemming from the realization that one’s actions could have resulted in better outcomes than actually occurred. I have done work examining what regrets individuals report both in real life and in lab contexts. This work has informed theoretical work focused on the functional nature of regret, and the role of opportunity in the strength of regret. My research also focuses on the decision to seek vs. avoid information about foregone options, and how this decision may be a strategic response to regret.
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- Summerville, A. (2011). The rush of regret: A longitudinal analysis of naturalistic regrets. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2(6), 627-634.
- Summerville, A. (2011). Counterfactual-seeking: The scenic overlook of the road not taken. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1522-1533.
- Roese, N. J., Epstude, K., Fessel, F., Morrison, M., Smallman, R., Summerville, A., Galinsky, A., & Segerstrom, S. (2009). Repetitive regret, depression, and anxiety: Findings from a nationally representative survey. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28, 671-688.
- Summerville, A., & Roese, N. J. (2008). Self-report measures of individual differences in regulatory focus: A cautionary note. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 247-254.
- Saffrey, C., Summerville, A., & Roese, N. J. (2008). Praise for regret: People value regret above other negative emotions. Motivation and Emotion, 32, 46-54.
- Summerville, A., & Roese, N. J. (2008). Dare to compare: Fact-based versus simulation-based comparison in daily life. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 664-671.
- Roese, N. J., Summerville, A., & Fessel, F. (2007). Regret and behavior: Comment on Zeelenberg and Pieters. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17, 25-28.
- Roese, N. J., Fessel, F., Summerville, A., Kruger, J., & Dilich, M. (2006). The propensity effect: When foresight trumps hindsight. Psychological Science, 17, 305-310.
- Roese, N. J., & Summerville, A. (2005). What we regret most... and why. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1273-1285.
Department of Psychology
90 North Patterson Avenue
Oxford, OH 45056
- Phone: (513) 529-6126