The Powerball jackpot has risen to $700 million. We used this opportunity to test a cognitive bias known as regret avoidance.
We constantly have to make decisions without perfect information — like choosing an investment, picking a new job or deciding to buy a lottery ticket. We consider the possible outcomes and the probability of each and make the best choice with the information we have.
If new information becomes available after we have made a decision we sometimes experience regret — like feeling buyer’s remorse after deciding to purchase an expensive item that goes on sale after your purchase.
When making decisions, we can anticipate future regret and incorporate the weight of that into our decision making. Lotteries provide a wonderful real life test for how regret