Variables Involved in Decision Making and Consumer Regret


  • Milica Knezevic University of Ljubljana



This research explores consumer regret through the lens of decision-making and other relevant factors contributing to this phenomenon. Consumer regret, also known as buyer's remorse, is defined as the feeling of regret or anxiety following a purchase. The consumer decision process involves several steps: stimulus, problem awareness, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase, and post-purchase behavior. [1] 

Demographic and lifestyle factors influence this process. Research has shown that younger consumers tend to engage in more impulse buying compared to older consumers due to their higher openness to new experiences and lower levels of self-regulation. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as income and social status significantly affect purchasing behaviors, with higher income individuals often showing a preference for luxury goods and services. [2] The motivation for this research lies in the pervasive nature of consumerism globally. Key factors identified for consumer regret include impulse buying, item price, level of conscious decision-making, and expectation versus satisfaction.  [1]

This study aims to trace the decision-making process and provide a comprehensive analysis of the steps involved, analyzing and comparing results to draw conclusions about consumer regret.


The research will utilize a questionnaire featuring scale ratings and open-ended questions, alongside the Decision Regret Scale (DRS)  [3] . The DRS is a critical tool for measuring levels of purchase regret in relation to impulse buying, item price, conscious decision-making, and expectation versus satisfaction. The proposed sample size will include a diverse demographic to ensure comprehensive results.

The participants will be mostly from Montenegro and Slovenia, the age range will include anyone from 18-65, and will include participants of all genders and economic backgrounds. 

Expected Results

We anticipate discovering a correlation between decision-making and consumer regret, which will vary depending on the factors examined. The results are expected to offer a roadmap for future research, identifying key components in decision-making that can enhance consumer satisfaction and reduce regret. Additionally, we aim to highlight interdisciplinary insights that can inform future approaches to consumerism and regret. Exploring cognitive dissonance and post-purchase regret from a psychological perspective while examining demographic variables like age, gender, income, and education level in the context of societal trends is just one of the interdisciplinarities of the research. 


[1] A. Amoah, N. J. Abubakar, and I. Sikayena, “Investigating into factors accounting for cognitive dissonance (Post purchase regrets),” International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 229–239, Mar. 2017. Accessed: Mar. 1, 2017. [Online]. Available:ResearchGate

[2] A. Rook and S. Fisher, "A study of influence of demographic factors on consumer impulse buying behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 305-313, Dec. 1995. Available: ResearchGate.

[3] P. Diotaiuti et al., “The use of the decision regret scale in non-clinical contexts,” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13, Sep. 2022. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.945669