ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (2): 205-210.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.00205

• Research Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Moderation Role of the Number of Missed Option in Producing Inaction Inertia

LI Xiaoming;ZHOU Qiao   

  1. Department of Psychology, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
  • Received:2012-06-25 Online:2013-02-15 Published:2013-02-15
  • Contact: LI Xiaoming

Abstract: Until now, most inaction inertia studies investigated the effect of missing a single prior opportunity on the likelihood to act on the current opportunity. The present experiment aimed at exploring whether the inaction inertia would still appear when individuals had bypassed more than one attractive option and further investigating the role of regret and valuation in producing inaction inertia. The results showed that the number of missed option had moderation effect on inaction inertia: When individuals missed only one option, a relatively large discrepancy in attractiveness between the missed and the current opportunity led to a lower likelihood of taking the second action than a small-discrepancy condition, which demonstrated inaction inertia; when two earlier options were missed, the difference between the missed and the current opportunity had no significant effect on the likelihood of taking the second action, which indicated that inaction inertia disappeared. The mediation analyses showed that the moderation effect was mediated by anticipated regret. The results suggested that anticipated regret could account for the disappearance of inaction inertia when individuals bypassed multiple options.

Key words: inaction inertia effect, experienced regret, anticipated regret, valuation, moderation effect, mediation effect