Nostalgia proneness and empathy: Generality, underlying mechanism and implications for prosocial behavior

J. Juhl*, T. Wildschut, C. Sedikides, T. Diebel, W.Y. Cheung, A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Objective
Nostalgia is a sentimental longing for one's past. We examined the hypotheses (rooted in attachment theory and research) that nostalgia prone individuals, by virtue of their greater attachment security, are more empathic and enact more prosocial behavior.

Method
In five studies, testing 1,923 participants (Nrange = 132–823, 52.42% women, Agerange = 8–90 years), we measured nostalgia proneness and affective empathy. Additionally, we measured cognitive empathy in Study 3, attachment security in Studies 4–5, and prosocial behavior in Study 5.
Results
Nostalgia proneness was positively related to affective empathy among younger and older adults (Studies 1, 3–5) and among children (Study 2). This association was stronger for affective empathy than cognitive empathy (Study 3). Also, attachment security mediated the relation between nostalgia proneness and affective empathy (Studies 4–5). Finally, nostalgia prone individuals were more likely to engage in prosocial behavior, and this relation was serially mediated by attachment security and affective empathy (Study 5).

Conclusion
The findings establish the empathic and prosocial character of nostalgia prone individuals, and clarify their personality profile.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

Fingerprint

Young Adult

Keywords

  • ATTACHMENT
  • CIRCUMPLEX
  • CONCEPTIONS
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • LINK
  • MEMORY
  • NEED
  • OTHERS
  • SELF
  • VALIDATION
  • attachment theory
  • donating
  • empathy
  • nostalgia proneness
  • prosocial behavior

Cite this

Juhl, J. ; Wildschut, T. ; Sedikides, C. ; Diebel, T. ; Cheung, W.Y. ; Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M. / Nostalgia proneness and empathy : Generality, underlying mechanism and implications for prosocial behavior. In: Journal of Personality. 2020.
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title = "Nostalgia proneness and empathy: Generality, underlying mechanism and implications for prosocial behavior",
abstract = "ObjectiveNostalgia is a sentimental longing for one's past. We examined the hypotheses (rooted in attachment theory and research) that nostalgia prone individuals, by virtue of their greater attachment security, are more empathic and enact more prosocial behavior.MethodIn five studies, testing 1,923 participants (Nrange = 132–823, 52.42{\%} women, Agerange = 8–90 years), we measured nostalgia proneness and affective empathy. Additionally, we measured cognitive empathy in Study 3, attachment security in Studies 4–5, and prosocial behavior in Study 5. ResultsNostalgia proneness was positively related to affective empathy among younger and older adults (Studies 1, 3–5) and among children (Study 2). This association was stronger for affective empathy than cognitive empathy (Study 3). Also, attachment security mediated the relation between nostalgia proneness and affective empathy (Studies 4–5). Finally, nostalgia prone individuals were more likely to engage in prosocial behavior, and this relation was serially mediated by attachment security and affective empathy (Study 5).ConclusionThe findings establish the empathic and prosocial character of nostalgia prone individuals, and clarify their personality profile.",
keywords = "ATTACHMENT, CIRCUMPLEX, CONCEPTIONS, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, LINK, MEMORY, NEED, OTHERS, SELF, VALIDATION, attachment theory, donating, empathy, nostalgia proneness, prosocial behavior",
author = "J. Juhl and T. Wildschut and C. Sedikides and T. Diebel and W.Y. Cheung and A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets",
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Nostalgia proneness and empathy : Generality, underlying mechanism and implications for prosocial behavior. / Juhl, J.; Wildschut, T.; Sedikides, C.; Diebel, T.; Cheung, W.Y.; Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M.

In: Journal of Personality, 2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nostalgia proneness and empathy

T2 - Generality, underlying mechanism and implications for prosocial behavior

AU - Juhl, J.

AU - Wildschut, T.

AU - Sedikides, C.

AU - Diebel, T.

AU - Cheung, W.Y.

AU - Vingerhoets, A.J.J.M.

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - ObjectiveNostalgia is a sentimental longing for one's past. We examined the hypotheses (rooted in attachment theory and research) that nostalgia prone individuals, by virtue of their greater attachment security, are more empathic and enact more prosocial behavior.MethodIn five studies, testing 1,923 participants (Nrange = 132–823, 52.42% women, Agerange = 8–90 years), we measured nostalgia proneness and affective empathy. Additionally, we measured cognitive empathy in Study 3, attachment security in Studies 4–5, and prosocial behavior in Study 5. ResultsNostalgia proneness was positively related to affective empathy among younger and older adults (Studies 1, 3–5) and among children (Study 2). This association was stronger for affective empathy than cognitive empathy (Study 3). Also, attachment security mediated the relation between nostalgia proneness and affective empathy (Studies 4–5). Finally, nostalgia prone individuals were more likely to engage in prosocial behavior, and this relation was serially mediated by attachment security and affective empathy (Study 5).ConclusionThe findings establish the empathic and prosocial character of nostalgia prone individuals, and clarify their personality profile.

AB - ObjectiveNostalgia is a sentimental longing for one's past. We examined the hypotheses (rooted in attachment theory and research) that nostalgia prone individuals, by virtue of their greater attachment security, are more empathic and enact more prosocial behavior.MethodIn five studies, testing 1,923 participants (Nrange = 132–823, 52.42% women, Agerange = 8–90 years), we measured nostalgia proneness and affective empathy. Additionally, we measured cognitive empathy in Study 3, attachment security in Studies 4–5, and prosocial behavior in Study 5. ResultsNostalgia proneness was positively related to affective empathy among younger and older adults (Studies 1, 3–5) and among children (Study 2). This association was stronger for affective empathy than cognitive empathy (Study 3). Also, attachment security mediated the relation between nostalgia proneness and affective empathy (Studies 4–5). Finally, nostalgia prone individuals were more likely to engage in prosocial behavior, and this relation was serially mediated by attachment security and affective empathy (Study 5).ConclusionThe findings establish the empathic and prosocial character of nostalgia prone individuals, and clarify their personality profile.

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KW - INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES

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KW - MEMORY

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KW - SELF

KW - VALIDATION

KW - attachment theory

KW - donating

KW - empathy

KW - nostalgia proneness

KW - prosocial behavior

U2 - 10.1111/jopy.12505

DO - 10.1111/jopy.12505

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Personality

JF - Journal of Personality

SN - 0022-3506

ER -