The mnemonic mover: nostalgia regulates avoidance and approach motivation

Stephan, Elena, Wildschut, Tim, Sedikides, Constantine, Zhou, X., He, W., Routledge, Clay, Cheung, Wing-Yee and Vingerhoets, A. (2014) The mnemonic mover: nostalgia regulates avoidance and approach motivation Emotion, 14, (3), pp. 545-561. (doi:10.1037/a0035673).

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In light of its role in maintaining psychological equanimity, we proposed that nostalgia—a self-relevant, social, and predominantly positive emotion—regulates avoidance and approach motivation. We advanced a model in which (a) avoidance motivation triggers nostalgia and (b) nostalgia, in turn, increases approach motivation. As a result, nostalgia counteracts the negative impact of avoidance motivation on approach motivation. Five methodologically diverse studies supported this regulatory model. Study 1 used a cross-sectional design and showed that avoidance motivation was positively associated with nostalgia. Nostalgia, in turn, was positively associated with approach motivation. In Study 2, an experimental induction of avoidance motivation increased nostalgia. Nostalgia then predicted increased approach motivation. Studies 3–5 tested the causal effect of nostalgia on approach motivation and behavior. These studies demonstrated that experimental nostalgia inductions strengthened approach motivation (Study 3) and approach behavior as manifested in reduced seating distance (Study 4) and increased helping (Study 5). The findings shed light on nostalgia’s role in regulating the human motivation system.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1037/a0035673
ISSNs: 1528-3542 (print)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Organisations: Psychology
ePrint ID: 366255
Date :
Date Event
June 2014Published
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2014 13:00
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 13:36
Further Information:Google Scholar

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