Mike Morrison of the University of Illinois and Neal Roese of Northwestern University telephoned a representative sample of nearly 400 U.S. adults to ask them about what they regret.
The study, published in the journal of the Social Psychological and Personality Science, says the most frequent regrets of Americans are about love, education and work.
The researchers say the most common regret is romantic -- mainly lost chances for potential romances and relationships that did not live up to their potential.
The other common regrets involve family, education, career, finances and parenting. Women were more likely to have regrets about relationships, romance and family and men were more likely to have regrets about work, career and education.
"We tend to regret matters that are most important to us, people crave strong, stable social relationships and are unhappy when they lack them," Morrison says in a statement.