Nostalgia fosters self-continuity: Uncovering the mechanism (social connectedness) and consequence (eudaimonic well-being)

Constantine Sedikides, Tim Wildschut, Wing-Yee Cheung, Clay Routledge, Erica G Hepper, Jamie Arndt, Kenneth Vail, Xinyue Zhou, Kenny Brackstone, A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Nostalgia, a sentimental longing for one's past, is an emotion that arises from self-relevant and social memories. Nostalgia functions, in part, to foster self-continuity, that is, a sense of connection between one's past and one's present. This article examined, in 6 experiments, how nostalgia fosters self-continuity and the implications of that process for well-being. Nostalgia fosters self-continuity by augmenting social connectedness, that is, a sense of belongingness and acceptance (Experiments 1-4). Nostalgia-induced self-continuity, in turn, confers eudaimonic well-being, operationalized as subjective vitality (i.e., a feeling of aliveness and energy; Experiments 5-6). The findings clarify and expand the benefits of nostalgia for both the self-system and psychological adjustment. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-539
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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