- New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy and Cary L. Cooper
5 Disappointment and regret Wilco W. van Dijk and Frenk van Harreveld Introduction Emotions do not simply occur; they signal events that are relevant to the individual’s wellbeing and can be considered as a mechanism for signaling to the individual’s cognitive and action systems that events are favorable or harmful (Frijda, 1994). Emotions serve as feedback about the nature and urgency of the situation and this information serves as input for judgment and decision-making processes as well as for reordering processing priorities (Carver & Scheier, 1990; Schwarz, 1990). Not only do emotions have a signaling function, they are also motivators for behavior aimed at dealing with emotion-evoking events. Or to put it in Frijda’s (1998, p. 354) words: ‘Emotions exist for the sake of signaling states of the world that have to be responded to, or that no longer need response or action’. Negative emotions result from a threat or harm to some goal or from the realization that the rate of progress toward a goal is less than expected (Carver & Scheier, 1990). They inform the individual that the current situation is problematic and alert him/her to the fact that some action should be undertaken in order to set things right or prevent unpleasant things from actually occurring. In the present chapter we focus on two speciﬁc negative emotions, disappointment and regret. We shall ﬁrst deﬁne both disappointment and regret and address their diﬀerences in experiential content. Subsequently we shall discuss the comparative nature of these emotions, addressing...
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