How nostalgia infuses life with meaning: From social connectedness to self‐continuity

W.A.P. van Tilburg*, C. Sedikides, T. Wildschut, A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nostalgia increases meaning in life (MIL), but how so? In four experiments—using varied operationalizations of nostalgia, diverse populations, and complementary methodologies—we identified a serial process. We hypothesized and found, in Experiment 1, that self‐continuity boosts MIL. We hypothesized and found, in Experiment 2, that nostalgia increases MIL through self‐continuity. Finally, we hypothesized and found, in Experiments 3‐4, that nostalgia fosters social connectedness, which plausibly heightens self‐continuity, which in turn strengthens MIL. The findings clarify an intricate pathway through which nostalgia renders life more meaningful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-532
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • CONCEPTIONS
  • DISCONTINUITIES
  • EXPERIENCE
  • IDENTITY
  • MEMORY
  • MODEL
  • SEARCH
  • SELVES
  • STABILITY
  • STATISTICAL MEDIATION ANALYSIS
  • meaning in life
  • nostalgia
  • self-continuity
  • social connectedness

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