Life regrets and the need to belong, Social Psychological and Personality Science
The present research documents a link between regret and the need to belong. Across five studies, using diverse methods and samples, the authors established that regrets involving primarily social relationships (e.g., romance and family) are felt more intensely than less socially based regrets (e.g., work and education). The authors ruled out alternative explanations for this pattern and found that it is best explained by the extent to which regrets are judged to constitute threats to belonging. Threats to belonging at the regret level and the need to belong at the individual level were strong predictors of regret intensity across multiple regret domains. These findings highlight the central role social connectedness plays in what people regret most.
Mike Morrison, Kai Epstude, Neal Roese
Morrison, Mike, Kai Epstude, and Neal Roese. 2012. Life regrets and the need to belong. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 3(6): 675-681.