The Fear of Regret: Or why we don't change our lives

12.09.2019

Making decisions involve the risk of regretting them later. Eyal Winter, Professor of Economics at the University of Jerusalem, examines why regretting triggers fears that strongly affect our lives. An article in the Haaretz gives insights into his research.

Eyal Winter

"Fear of regret influences decisions in two key areas: money and relationships", writes economics professor Eyal Winter in an article in the Israeli daily Haaratz. For example, we remain in a relationship even if love has long ceased to exist. The simple reason: We fear regretting the step of breaking up later. But paradoxically it will then be precisely the same fear of regret that will prevent us at another point from deciding to start a new relationship, writes Winter.

Regretting is a behaviour closely linked to evolution, a mechanism without which, according to Winter, our species probably would not have survived. What this mechanism triggers in us exactly and how it is influencing even politics, you can read here:

Eyal Winter is a speaker at the "Academy of Behavioral Economics", which will take place on January 29, 2020 at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. Sign up now with early bird rebate.