Annals of Health Law
STRATEGY AGAINST SMOKING
commonly explained with the expected pain of losing something exceeding
the pleasure of gaining it.113 A manifestation of loss aversion can be seen in
the so-called endowment effect, i.e. the phenomenon that people tend to
demand more money to give up an object than they are willing to pay for
obtaining it. 114
g. Regret Aversion
Regret aversion is based on the assumption that the sensations of regret
and rejoicing are widely spread and that people try to anticipate and account
for these sensations when making choices under uncertainty. 115 Several
studies have shown that the desire to avoid regret appears to be an
important factor in decision making. 116 The effect is amplified if the
respective person has already experienced the specific consequences he
now intends to prevent. Regret aversion affects a variety of preventive
behaviors, such as vaccination among those who fell ill with a disease after
failing to get vaccinated. 117 In addition, people tend to assign greater
impact to future regret than it actually has, 118 because they underestimate
their tendency to rationalize and discount losses. 119
Aversion and Reference Dependence Effects on Brand Choice, 12 MKTG SCI. 378 passim
(1993); Nathan Novemsky & Daniel Kahneman, The Boundaries of Loss Aversion, 42 J.
MKTG RES. 119 passim (2005); Richard H. Thaler, Mental accounting and consumer choice,
4 MKTG SCI. 199 passim (1985).
113. See, e.g., Dan Ariely, Joel Huber & Klaus Wertenbroch, When do losses loom
larger than gains?, 42 J. MKTG RES. 134 passim (2005); Daniel Kahneman & Amos
Tversky, Choices, Values, and Frames, 39 AM. PSYCHOLOGIST 341 passim (1984); Kermer,
supra note 111, passim.
114. See Daniel Kahneman, Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, Experimental Tests of
the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem, 98 J. POL. ECON. 1325 passim (1990); Eric
van Dijk & Daan van Knippenberg, Trading Wine: On the Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion
and the Comparability of Consumer Goods, 19 J. ECON. PSYCHOL. 485 passim (1998); Ying
Zhang & Ayelet Fishbach, The Role of Anticipated Emotions in the Endowment Effect, 15 J.
CONSUMER PSYCHOL. 316 passim (2005).
115. Graham Loomes & Robert Sugden, Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of
Rational Choice Under Uncertainty, 92 THE ECON. J. 805, 820 (1982). See also David E.
Bell, Regret in Decision Making Under Uncertainty, 39 OPERATIONS RES. 961 passim (1982)
(further discussing the role of regret in decision making).
116. See, e.g., Charles Abraham & Paschal Sheeran, Acting on Intentions: The Role of
Anticipated Regret, 42 BRITISH J. SOC. PSYCHOL. 495 passim (2003); Itamar Simonson, The
Influence of Anticipating Regret and Responsibility on Purchase Decisions, 19 J. CONSUMER
RES. 105 passim (1992); Marcel Zeelenberg, J. Jeffrey Inman & Rik G. M. Pieters, What We
Do When Decisions Go Awry – Behavioral Consequences of Experienced Regret, in
CONFLICT AND DECISION MAKING 136 passim (E. Weber, J. Baron, & G. Loomes eds., 2001).
117. See Gretchen B. Chapman & Elliot J. Coups, Emotions and Preventive Health
Behavior: Worry, Regret, and Influenza Vaccination, 25 HEALTH PSYCHOL. 82, 86 (2006).
118. Gilbert, supra note 110, passim; Kermer, supra note 111, passim.