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Knowing when to hold ‘em: regret and the relation between missed opportunities and risk taking in children, adolescents and adults

Feeney, A; Travers, E; O’Connor, E; Beck, SR; McCormack, T; (2018) Knowing when to hold ‘em: regret and the relation between missed opportunities and risk taking in children, adolescents and adults. Cognition and Emotion , 32 (3) pp. 608-615. 10.1080/02699931.2017.1326373. Green open access

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Abstract

Regret over missed opportunities leads adults to take more risks. Given recent evidence that the ability to experience regret impacts decisions made by 6-year-olds, and pronounced interest in the antecedents to risk taking in adolescence, we investigated the age at which a relationship between missed opportunities and risky decision-making emerges, and whether that relationship changes at different points in development. Six- and 8-year-olds, adolescents and adults completed a sequential risky decision-making task on which information about missed opportunities was available. Children also completed a task designed to measure their ability to report regret when explicitly prompted to do so. The relationship between missed opportunities and risky decision-making did not emerge until 8 years, at which age it was associated with the ability to explicitly report regret, and was stronger in adults than in adolescents. These novel results highlight the potential importance of the ability to experience regret in children and adolescents’ risky decision-making.

Type: Article
Title: Knowing when to hold ‘em: regret and the relation between missed opportunities and risk taking in children, adolescents and adults
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2017.1326373
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2017.1326373
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Regret, risk, decision-making, counterfactual, cognitive development
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071018
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