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Looking back to move forward: nostalgia as a psychological resource for promoting relationship goals and overcoming relationship challenges

Looking back to move forward: nostalgia as a psychological resource for promoting relationship goals and overcoming relationship challenges
Looking back to move forward: nostalgia as a psychological resource for promoting relationship goals and overcoming relationship challenges
Previous research has shown that nostalgia is a highly social emotion that provides a sense of social connectedness. In the present research, we tested a social motivational function of nostalgia. Specifically, across 7 studies we found converging evidence that nostalgia mobilizes social goals. In Study 1, nostalgia increased the importance people assigned to relationship goals and how optimistic they felt about achieving these goals. In Study 2, nostalgia increased intentions to pursue goals of connecting with friends. In Study 3, experimentally-induced pessimism about achieving relationship goals instigated nostalgia. In Study 4, we found evidence that it is the interpersonal nature of nostalgia that is associated with striving to connect with others. Specifically, nostalgia about aspects of the past that were high in sociality was associated with intentions to interact with others, whereas nostalgia for aspects of the past that were low in sociality was not. In Study 5, nostalgic reflection increased friendship-approach goal striving relative to reflecting on ordinary social memories, but did not increase friendship-avoidant goal striving. Finally, in Studies 6 and 7, we found evidence that social-efficacy mediated the effect of nostalgia on striving to connect with others and striving to overcome interpersonal challenges. Together, these findings establish nostalgia as catalyst for social goal pursuit and growth.
0022-3514
1029-1044
Abeyta, Andrew
1d566033-235c-45d5-85e7-f7a0c85dc316
Routledge, Clay
c1e0088a-3cc4-4d54-bbd3-de7d286429d8
Juhl, Jacob
1c3b38b1-ba9e-4f3c-8520-ebca3b712fa2
Abeyta, Andrew
1d566033-235c-45d5-85e7-f7a0c85dc316
Routledge, Clay
c1e0088a-3cc4-4d54-bbd3-de7d286429d8
Juhl, Jacob
1c3b38b1-ba9e-4f3c-8520-ebca3b712fa2

Abeyta, Andrew, Routledge, Clay and Juhl, Jacob (2015) Looking back to move forward: nostalgia as a psychological resource for promoting relationship goals and overcoming relationship challenges. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109 (6), 1029-1044. (doi:10.1037/pspi0000036). (PMID:26479361)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Previous research has shown that nostalgia is a highly social emotion that provides a sense of social connectedness. In the present research, we tested a social motivational function of nostalgia. Specifically, across 7 studies we found converging evidence that nostalgia mobilizes social goals. In Study 1, nostalgia increased the importance people assigned to relationship goals and how optimistic they felt about achieving these goals. In Study 2, nostalgia increased intentions to pursue goals of connecting with friends. In Study 3, experimentally-induced pessimism about achieving relationship goals instigated nostalgia. In Study 4, we found evidence that it is the interpersonal nature of nostalgia that is associated with striving to connect with others. Specifically, nostalgia about aspects of the past that were high in sociality was associated with intentions to interact with others, whereas nostalgia for aspects of the past that were low in sociality was not. In Study 5, nostalgic reflection increased friendship-approach goal striving relative to reflecting on ordinary social memories, but did not increase friendship-avoidant goal striving. Finally, in Studies 6 and 7, we found evidence that social-efficacy mediated the effect of nostalgia on striving to connect with others and striving to overcome interpersonal challenges. Together, these findings establish nostalgia as catalyst for social goal pursuit and growth.

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Accepted/In Press date: 16 August 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 October 2015
Published date: 1 December 2015
Organisations: Psychology

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Local EPrints ID: 382079
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/382079
ISSN: 0022-3514
PURE UUID: 5e25b102-36e1-45c9-8d1c-c1ba116f39cd

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Date deposited: 26 Oct 2015 11:37
Last modified: 15 Jan 2020 17:31

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Contributors

Author: Andrew Abeyta
Author: Clay Routledge
Author: Jacob Juhl

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