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The relationship between nostalgia, social exclusion, and empathy

The relationship between nostalgia, social exclusion, and empathy
The relationship between nostalgia, social exclusion, and empathy
As a positive, social emotion, nostalgia has the potential to reduce the negative impact of social exclusion on empathy. I ran a series of experiments in order to establish the relationship between nostalgia, social exclusion, and empathy. In Studies 1 and 2, participants were instructed to recall either a nostalgic or ordinary autobiographical experience and then read an essay ostensibly written by another participant describing a physically painful ordeal. Afterwards, the participants were asked to report the level of empathy that they felt for the person who wrote the essay. Participants who had previously recalled a nostalgic event reported significantly higher levels of empathy than those who had recalled an ordinary event. In Studies 3 and 4, participants were given randomly assigned future alone, future belonging, or control feedback. Participants who were given future alone (compared to future belonging or control) feedback reported significantly higher levels of nostalgia. Study 5 examined nostalgia’s ability to directly counteract social threats. Individuals who were exposed to a future alone (compared to future belonging) feedback reported lower levels of empathy when they were instructed to recall an ordinary autobiographical experience. However, the future alone manipulation had no significant effect on empathy when participants recalled a nostalgic experience. The results suggest that nostalgia may function as an adaptive reaction to social exclusion, and can prevent people from becoming emotionally numb after being excluded
Cordaro, Filippo
8462563b-1c2b-4464-9610-d0513bffbaae
Cordaro, Filippo
8462563b-1c2b-4464-9610-d0513bffbaae

Cordaro, Filippo (2011) The relationship between nostalgia, social exclusion, and empathy. University of Southampton, Psychology, Doctoral Thesis, 94pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

As a positive, social emotion, nostalgia has the potential to reduce the negative impact of social exclusion on empathy. I ran a series of experiments in order to establish the relationship between nostalgia, social exclusion, and empathy. In Studies 1 and 2, participants were instructed to recall either a nostalgic or ordinary autobiographical experience and then read an essay ostensibly written by another participant describing a physically painful ordeal. Afterwards, the participants were asked to report the level of empathy that they felt for the person who wrote the essay. Participants who had previously recalled a nostalgic event reported significantly higher levels of empathy than those who had recalled an ordinary event. In Studies 3 and 4, participants were given randomly assigned future alone, future belonging, or control feedback. Participants who were given future alone (compared to future belonging or control) feedback reported significantly higher levels of nostalgia. Study 5 examined nostalgia’s ability to directly counteract social threats. Individuals who were exposed to a future alone (compared to future belonging) feedback reported lower levels of empathy when they were instructed to recall an ordinary autobiographical experience. However, the future alone manipulation had no significant effect on empathy when participants recalled a nostalgic experience. The results suggest that nostalgia may function as an adaptive reaction to social exclusion, and can prevent people from becoming emotionally numb after being excluded

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Published date: 28 March 2011
Organisations: University of Southampton

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Local EPrints ID: 187383
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/187383
PURE UUID: b9f1e3ff-c0f9-421e-984a-452cf321b78a

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Date deposited: 24 May 2011 10:46
Last modified: 29 Jan 2020 14:32

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