Back to the future

Nostalgia increases optimism

W.-Y. Cheung, T. Wildschut, C. Sedikides, E.G. Hepper, J. Arndt, A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

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.
Keywords: nostalgia, optimism, emotion, memory, self-esteem, social connectedness
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1484-1496
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume39
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Cheung, W-Y., Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., Hepper, E. G., Arndt, J., & Vingerhoets, A. J. J. M. (2013). Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(11), 1484-1496. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167213499187
Cheung, W.-Y. ; Wildschut, T. ; Sedikides, C. ; Hepper, E.G. ; Arndt, J. ; Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M. / Back to the future : Nostalgia increases optimism. In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2013 ; Vol. 39, No. 11. pp. 1484-1496.
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Cheung, W-Y, Wildschut, T, Sedikides, C, Hepper, EG, Arndt, J & Vingerhoets, AJJM 2013, 'Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism', Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, vol. 39, no. 11, pp. 1484-1496. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167213499187

Back to the future : Nostalgia increases optimism. / Cheung, W.-Y.; Wildschut, T.; Sedikides, C.; Hepper, E.G.; Arndt, J.; Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M.

In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 39, No. 11, 2013, p. 1484-1496.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Cheung W-Y, Wildschut T, Sedikides C, Hepper EG, Arndt J, Vingerhoets AJJM. Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2013;39(11):1484-1496. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167213499187