The past makes the present meaningful: nostalgia as an existential resource

Routledge, Clay, Arndt, Jamie, Wildschut, Tim, Sedikides, Constantine, Hart, Claire M., Juhl, Jacob, Vingerhoets, Ad J.J.M. and Schlotz, Wolff (2011) The past makes the present meaningful: nostalgia as an existential resource Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, (3), pp. 638-652. (doi:10.1037/a0024292). (PMID:21787094).


[img] Microsoft Word Routledget_et_al._2011%2C_JPSP (2).doc - Accepted Manuscript
Download (1MB)


The current research tested the proposition that nostalgia serves an existential function by bolstering a sense of meaning in life. Study 1found that nostalgia was positively associated with a sense of meaning in life. Study 2 experimentally demonstrated that nostalgia increases a sense of meaning in life. In both studies, the link between nostalgia and increased meaning in life was mediated by feelings of social connectedness. Study 3 evidenced that threatened meaning increases nostalgia. Study 4 illustrated that nostalgia, in turn, reduces defensiveness following a meaning threat. Finally, Studies 5 and 6 showed that nostalgia disrupts the link between meaning deficits and compromised psychological well-being. Collectively, these findings indicate that the provision of existential meaning is a pivotal function of nostalgia.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1037/a0024292
ISSNs: 0022-3514 (print)
Keywords: nostalgia, meaning, well-being
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
ePrint ID: 183875
Date :
Date Event
September 2011Published
Date Deposited: 04 May 2011 10:34
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 02:22
Further Information:Google Scholar

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item