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Modeling regret effects on consumer post‐purchase decisions

My Bui (Department of Marketing, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Anjala S. Krishen (Department of Marketing, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Kenneth Bates (Campbell School of Business, Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 26 July 2011




The purpose of this paper is to assess how regret affects consumer satisfaction levels, extent of rumination, and brand‐switching intention. The paper also seeks to examine any mediating effects between regret and rumination that can be found due to consumers' negative emotions.


A purchase‐decision scenario was presented to 125 undergraduate students. A between‐subjects experimental design was conducted and structural equation modelling was utilized to evaluate the model fit.


The results indicate that regret decreases consumer satisfaction level and increases brand‐switching intention. Negative emotion was found to demonstrate an indirect effect between regret and extent of rumination. The findings also suggest that negative emotion acts as a partially mediating variable between the effect of satisfaction levels on extent of rumination and the effect of regret on satisfaction levels.

Practical implications

This study emphasizes the importance of post‐purchase consumer satisfaction. Marketers must pay particular attention to both regret and negative emotion toward purchase decisions. By understanding how specific recourse can be taken to mitigate regret, negative emotions, and ruminative thinking, firms can potentially enhance a brand's image and instil brand loyalty.


This research further validates existing research regarding regret and consumption, while introducing the concept of rumination into the marketing literature. Marketers will have a better understanding of how regret, negative emotions, and rumination can play a role in post‐purchase consumption behaviours.



Bui, M., Krishen, A.S. and Bates, K. (2011), "Modeling regret effects on consumer post‐purchase decisions", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 45 No. 7/8, pp. 1068-1090.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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