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Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1995;40(3):175-85.

Failing to act: regrets of Terman's geniuses.

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Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.


The regrets reported by Terman's intellectually gifted subjects were analyzed to determine the nature of their regrets, whether they are the same as those reported by the general population, and whether they stem predominantly from errors of omission or commission. A 1986 survey of these subjects in their advanced years (mean age = 74) asked them to specify what they would do differently if they could live over again. An analysis of their responses indicated that, like the population as a whole, they harbor many more regrets of inaction than regrets of action. The implications of these findings for a proposed temporal pattern to the experience of regret is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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