Regret and decision making: a developmental perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Queen's University, Belfast


Regret is a common emotion that has important links with decision-making in adults. Recent research suggests that the ability to experience regret emerges relatively late in development. By around 6 years, most children will experience regret but the likelihood of experiencing this emotion increases across childhood and into adolescence. The developmental emergence of regret seems to affect children’s decision-making: children who experience regret about a choice are more likely to make a better choice next time round and regret also seems to help
children learn to delay gratification and behave more prosocially.


Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Dec 2019


  • regret, development, decision making