Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Study shows virtue is regretted more than vice

HA! A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research says that in the short run, vice is regretted more than doing the right thing, but over time virtue is regretted more. The report describes guilt and shame as "hot" emotions which are more intense and short-lived than "wistful, contemplative feelings such as nostalgia." Whereas your regret at drinking too much at the office Christmas party and doing a striptease on top of the buffet table will be intense in the days following the event, your regret at never having attended wild parties, or never having done anything wild or reckless will become greater over time. Think of every mopey, regretful older person you've ever listened to, talking about what they should have done.

Perfect hillbilly philosophy. Basically this study is expressing, in academic terms, what the Cramps already taught us in their song "Let's Get F*cked Up."

The article is titled "Repenting Hyperopia: An Analysis of Self-Control Regrets". It's got some great charts toward the end!


Kate said...

But I thought the plan for you and Steve was to atone for last year's behavior at the 4th party?

Bubs said...

We've already atoned, been redeemed and we're moving forward to a brave new future. Thank you.