Combating the mental health stigma with nostalgia

Turner, Rhiannon N., Wildschut, Tim, Sedikides, Constantine and Gheorghiu, Mirona (2013) Combating the mental health stigma with nostalgia European Journal of Social Psychology, 43, (5), pp. 413-422. (doi:10.1002/ejsp.1952).


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We report research implicating nostalgia as an intrapersonal means of warding off the stigmatization of persons with mental illness. We hypothesized and found that nostalgia about an encounter with a person with mental illness improves attitudes toward the mentally ill. In Experiment 1, undergraduates who recalled an encounter with a mentally ill person while focusing on central (vs. peripheral) features of the nostalgia prototype reported a more positive outgroup attitude. This beneficial effect of nostalgia was mediated by greater inclusion of the outgroup in the self (IOGS). In Experiment 2, undergraduates who recalled a nostalgic (vs. ordinary) interaction with a mentally ill person subsequently showed a more positive outgroup attitude. Results supported a serial mediation model whereby nostalgia increased social connectedness, which predicted greater IOGS and outgroup trust. IOGS and outgroup trust, in turn, predicted more positive outgroup attitudes. We ruled out alternative explanations for the results (i.e., mood, perceived positivity, and typicality of the recalled outgroup member). The findings speak to the intricate psychological processes underlying the prejudice-reduction function of nostalgia and their interventional potential.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1002/ejsp.1952
ISSNs: 0046-2772 (print)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Organisations: Psychology
ePrint ID: 356076
Date :
Date Event
10 May 2013e-pub ahead of print
August 2013Published
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 16:03
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 15:02
Further Information:Google Scholar

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