Affairs of the heart is the number one cause for regret among US citizens according to research by a marketing professor and a professor of psychology. Either decisions made and acted upon about a love affair, or inaction over a romance, would appear to give individuals the most heart ache. Other causes for regret include, education, family and career.
Neal Roese, a professor of marketing at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University and co-author Mike Morrison, a professor of psychology at the University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign analysed data from a random sample of adult US citizens. All were asked to describe in detail a moment of regret in their lives and whether the regret was based on an active or a passive response.
Of those questioned, 18 per cent reported romance as their most profound regret and were more or less evenly divided on whether the regret was based on action or inaction. Family regrets were also quite common with 16 per cent of participants reporting it as a significant regret. A lack of education and disappointing career were also reasons for remorse.