Here are their results.
The most common regret had to do with love.
18.1% of the participants said that romance or "lost love" were their biggest regret.
The second leading regret had to do with family.
15.9% said their biggest regrets came from grudges or drama within their family life, or in some cases: that they never started a family at all.
The following two were regrets pertaining to their careers and/or finance.
12.2 % were dissatisfied with their career paths, while 9.9% wished they had not struggled so hard with their finances.
The latter half of the list goes:
Parenting – 9.0 per cent
Health – 6.3 per cent
Other – 5.6 per cent
Friends – 3.6 per cent
Spirituality – 2.3 per cent
While these numbers seem depressing, Professor Neal Rose (one of the co-authors of the study) put the phenomenon of regret into perspective:
"We found that one’s life circumstances, such as accomplishments or shortcomings, inject considerable fuel into the fires of regret.
Although regret is painful, it is an essential component of the human experience."