Niamh O'Neill - PG Researcher Profile

PhD Researcher

Course: Structured Ph.D.
Role: PhD Student
Qualifications: BSc in Psychology, University of Limerick

Project Title:

When Regret Goes Awry: A Meaning-Regulation Approach

Project Supervisors:

  • Dr. Eric R. Igou
  • Dr. Dónal Fortune
  • Dr. Wijnand van Tilburg (University of Essex)

Project Description:

Regret is a negative, comparison-based emotion associated with upward counterfactual thinking (i.e. things could have been better). The consequences of regret can be positive, with regret contributing to adaptive behavioural learning in the future. Furthermore, it is associated with search for meaning in life. However, intense feelings of regret also contribute to negative cognitive and behavioural outcomes. Unresolved regret increases rumination, which negatively impacts well-being and increases depressive symptoms.

This project examines the dynamics of regret and its association with meaning in life. It incorporates rumination as a key variable that impacts meaning search and, subsequently, psychological outcomes. It proposes that regret leads to psychological distress, namely increased depression, anxiety, and stress, when meaning search is unsuccessful. Specifically, it investigates if this is due to rumination, in particular brooding.


Tutor and teaching assistant on undergraduate modules, Psychology Department, University of Limerick:

PS4045: Advanced Research Methods

PS4032: Psychology and Social Issues

Awards and Honours:

Education and Health Sciences SPhD Support Funding 2021



International Network of Philosophers of Education (INPE)

Postgraduate Students’ Union Faculties Officer (Executive) and EHS Faculties Representative (Council)