Love Sucks: Study Says Love Is Our Biggest Regret
Love sucks and now there is science to prove it.
We all have regrets... Mine happen to be spending and saving regrets! But not so of most Americans, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois. Their results point to romance as the biggest category of regret.
The survey, which utilized random-digit telephone call technology, included 370 adult Americans who were asked to name their biggest regret and to answer survey question about that regret, such as when the regret occurred and whether it was based on the person's action or inaction.
Overall, Romance accounted for the largest category of regrets, over Family, Education, Career, Finance, Parenting, Health, Other, Friends, Spirituality, Community, Leisure, and Self, although women were more than twice as likely as men to report that Romance was their biggest regret. Those who were not currently in a relationship were most likely to have love regrets.
Men reported work related regrets and education regrets more than women did; however, persons with low levels of education were more likely to have education regrets, and those with higher levels of education had more work related regrets.
Respondents were just as likely to regret things that they acted upon as those they did not, but those who did not act upon their regrets were more likely to hold on to them for a longer period of time.
Past research on regrets focused on samples of college students, which made it difficult to glean insights into the wider population,” Neal Roese, co-author of the study, said. “This research, however, offers a unique and more thorough look into the psychology of regret to further understand how regret connects to life circumstances and its impact on decision making.”
Regrets of the Typical American: Findings from a National Representative Sample, is published online at Social Psychological and Personality Science.