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Back to the future: nostalgia increases optimism

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This research examined the proposition that nostalgia is not simply a past-oriented emotion, but its scope extends into the future, and, in particular, a positive future. We adopted a convergent validation approach, using multiple methods to assess the relation between nostalgia and optimism. Study 1 tested whether nostalgic narratives entail traces of optimism; indeed, nostalgic (compared with ordinary) narratives contained more expressions of optimism. Study 2 manipulated nostalgia through the recollection of nostalgic (vs. ordinary) events, and showed that nostalgia boosts optimism. Study 3 demonstrated that the effect of nostalgia (induced with nomothetically relevant songs) on optimism is mediated by self-esteem. Finally, Study 4 established that nostalgia (induced with idiographically relevant lyrics) fosters social connectedness, which subsequently increases self-esteem, which then boosts optimism. The nostalgic experience is inherently optimistic and paints a subjectively rosier future.

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Cheung, Wing-Yee, Wildschut, Tim, Sedikides, Constantine, Hepper, Erica G., Arndt, Jamie and Vingerhoets, Ad J.J.M. (2013) Back to the future: nostalgia increases optimism Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, (11), pp. 1484-1496. (doi:10.1177/0146167213499187). (PMID:23928397).

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e-pub ahead of print date: 8 August 2013
Published date: November 2013
Keywords: nostalgia, optimism, emotion, memory, self-esteem, social connectedness


Local EPrints ID: 357467
ISSN: 0146-1672
PURE UUID: 27a02899-357e-4ea7-8c6a-489630a14ee5

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Date deposited: 08 Oct 2013 12:31
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 03:32

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Author: Wing-Yee Cheung
Author: Tim Wildschut
Author: Erica G. Hepper
Author: Jamie Arndt
Author: Ad J.J.M. Vingerhoets

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