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Nostalgia: past, present, and future

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Abstract

Traditionally, nostalgia has been conceptualized as a medical disease and a psychiatric disorder. Instead, we argue that nostalgia is a predominantly positive, self-relevant, and social emotion serving key psychological functions. Nostalgic narratives reflect more positive than negative affect, feature the self as the protagonist, and are embedded in a social context. Nostalgia is triggered by dysphoric states such as negative mood and loneliness. Finally, nostalgia generates positive affect, increases self-esteem, fosters social connectedness, and alleviates existential threat.
Nostalgia
Past, Present, and Future
Constantine Sedikides,
1
Tim Wildschut,
1
Jamie Arndt,
2
and Clay Routledge
3
1
University of Southampton,
2
University of Missouri, and
3
North Dakota State University
ABSTRACT—Traditionally, nostalgia has been conceptual-
ized as a medical disease and a psychiatric disorder. In-
stead, we argue that nostalgia is a predominantly positive,
self-relevant, and social emotion serving key psychological
functions. Nostalgic narratives reflect more positive than
negative affect, feature the self as the protagonist, and are
embedded in a social context. Nostalgia is triggered by
dysphoric states such as negative mood and loneliness.
Finally, nostalgia generates positive affect, increases self-
esteem, fosters social connectedness, and alleviates exis-
tential threat.
KEYWORDS—nostalgia; positive affect; self-esteem; social
connectedness; existential meaning
The term nostalgia was inadvertedly inspired by history’s most
famous itinerant. Emerging victoriously from the Trojan War,
Odysseus set sail for his native island of Ithaca to reunite with his
faithful wife, Penelope. For 3 years, our wandering hero fought
monsters, assorted evildoers, and mischievous gods. For another
7 years, he took respite in the arms of the beautiful sea nymph
Calypso. Possessively, she offered to make him immortal if he
stayed with her on the island of Ogygia. ‘‘Full well I acknowl-
edge,’’ Odysseus replied to his mistress, ‘‘prudent Penelope
cannot compare with your stature or beauty, for she is only a
mortal, and you are immortal and ageless. Nevertheless, it is she
whom I daily desire and pine for. Therefore I long for my home and
to see the day of returning’’ (Homer, 1921, Book V, pp. 78–79).
This romantic declaration, along with other expressions of
Odyssean longing in the eponymous Homeric epic, gave rise to
the term nostalgia. It is a compound word, consisting of nostos
(return) and algos (pain). Nostalgia, then, is literally the
suffering due to relentless yearning for the homeland. The term
nostalgia was coined in the 17th century by the Swiss physician
Johaness Hofer (1688/1934), but references to the emotion it
denotes can be found in Hippocrates, Caesar, and the Bible.
HISTORICAL AND MODERN CONCEPTIONS OF
NOSTALGIA
From the outset, nostalgia was equated with homesickness. It
was also considered a bad omen. In the 17th and 18th centuries,
speculation about nostalgia was based on observations of Swiss
mercenaries in the service of European monarchs. Nostalgia
was regarded as a medical disease confined to the Swiss, a view
that persisted through most of the 19th century. Symptoms—
including bouts of weeping, irregular heartbeat, and anorexia—
were attributed variously to demons inhabiting the middle brain,
sharp differentiation in atmospheric pressure wreaking havoc in
the brain, or the unremitting clanging of cowbells in the Swiss
Alps, which damaged the eardrum and brain cells.
By the beginning of the 20th century, nostalgia was regarded
as a psychiatric disorder. Symptoms included anxiety, sadness,
and insomnia. By the mid-20th century, psychodynamic ap-
proaches considered nostalgia a subconscious desire to return
to an earlier life stage, and it was labeled as a repressive com-
pulsive disorder. Soon thereafter, nostalgia was downgraded to a
variant of depression, marked by loss and grief, though still
equated with homesickness (for a historical review of nostalgia,
see Sedikides, Wildschut, & Baden, 2004).
By the late 20th century, there were compelling reasons for
nostalgia and homesickness to finally part ways. Adult partici-
pants regard nostalgia as different from homesickness. For ex-
ample, they associate the words warm,old times,childhood, and
yearning more frequently with nostalgia than with homesickness
(Davis, 1979). Furthermore, whereas homesickness research
focused on the psychological problems (e.g., separation anxiety)
that can arise when young people transition beyond the home
environment, nostalgia transcends social groups and age. For
example, nostalgia is found cross-culturally and among well-
functioning adults, children, and dementia patients (Sedikides
et al., 2004; Sedikides, Wildschut, Routledge, & Arndt, 2008;
Zhou, Sedikides, Wildschut, & Gao, in press). Finally, although
homesickness refers to one’s place of origin, nostalgia can refer
Address correspondence to Constantine Sedikides, Center for Re-
search on Self and Identity, School of Psychology, University of
Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, England, U.K.; e-mail:
cs2@soton.ac.uk.
CURRENT DIRECTIONS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
304 Volume 17—Number 5Copyright r2008 Association for Psychological Science
to a variety of objects (e.g., persons, events, places; Wildschut,
Sedikides, Arndt, & Routledge, 2006).
It is in this light that we note the contemporary definition of
nostalgia as a sentimental longing for one’s past. It is, moreover, a
sentimentality that is pervasively experienced. Over 80% of
British undergraduates reported experiencing nostalgia at least
once a week (Wildschut et al., 2006). Given this apparent
ubiquity, the time has come for an empirical foray into the
content, causes, and functions of this emotion.
THE EMPIRICAL BASIS FOR UNDERSTANDING
NOSTALGIA
The Canvas of Nostalgia
What is the content of the nostalgic experience? Wildschut et al.
(2006) analyzed the content of narratives submitted voluntarily
by (American and Canadian) readers to the periodical Nostalgia.
Also, Wildschut et al. asked British undergraduates to write a
narrative account of a nostalgic experience. These narratives
were also analyzed for content. Across both studies, the most
frequently listed objects of nostalgic reverie were close others
(family members, friends, partners), momentous events (birth-
days, vacations), and settings (sunsets, lakes).
Nostalgia has been conceptualized variously as a negative,
ambivalent, or positive emotion (Sedikides et al., 2004). These
conceptualizations were put to test. In a study by Wildschut,
Stephan, Sedikides, Routledge, and Arndt (2008), British and
American undergraduates wrote narratives about a ‘‘nostalgic
event’’ (vs. an ‘‘ordinary event’’) in their lives and reflected
briefly upon the event and how it made them feel. Content
analysis revealed that the simultaneous expression of happiness
and sadness was more common in narratives of nostalgic events
than in narratives of ordinary events. Also in Wildschut et al.,
British undergraduates wrote about a nostalgic (vs. ordinary vs.
simply positive) event in their lives and then rated their happi-
ness and sadness. Although the recollection of ordinary and
positive events rarely gave rise to both happiness and sadness,
such coactivation occurred much more frequently following the
recollection of a nostalgic event. Yet, nostalgic events featured
more frequent expressions of happiness than of sadness and
induced higher levels of happiness than of sadness.
Wildschut et al. (2006) obtained additional evidence that
nostalgia is mostly a positively toned emotion: The narratives
included far more expressions of positive than negative affect. At
the same time, though, there was evidence of bittersweetness.
Many narratives contained descriptions of disappointments and
losses, and some touched on such issues as separation and even
the death of loved ones. Nevertheless, positive and negative
elements were often juxtaposed to create redemption, a narrative
pattern that progresses from a negative or undesirable state (e.g.,
suffering, pain, exclusion) to a positive or desirable state (e.g.,
acceptance, euphoria, triumph; McAdams, 2001). For example,
although a family reunion started badly (e.g., an uncle insulting
the protagonist), it nevertheless ended well (e.g., the family
singing together after dinner).
The strength of the redemption theme may explain why, de-
spite the descriptions of sorrow, the overall affective signature of
the nostalgic narratives was positive.
Moreover, Wildschut et al. (2006) showed that nostalgia is a
self-relevant and social emotion: The self almost invariably
figured as the protagonist in the narratives and was almost always
surrounded by close others. In all, the canvas of nostalgia is rich,
reflecting themes of selfhood, sociality, loss, redemption, and
ambivalent, yet mostly positive, affectivity.
The Triggers of Nostalgia
Wildschut et al. (2006) asked participants to describe when they
become nostalgic. The most frequently reported trigger was
negative affect (‘‘I think of nostalgic experiences when I am sad
as they often make me feel better’’), and, within this category,
loneliness was the most frequently reported discrete affective
state (‘‘If I ever feel lonely or sad I tend to think of my friends or
family who I haven’t seen in a long time’’). Given these initial
reports, Wildschut et al. proceeded to test whether indeed
negative mood and loneliness qualify as nostalgia triggers.
British undergraduates read one of three news stories, each
based on actual events, that were intendedto influence their mood.
In the negative-mood condition, they read about the Tsunami that
struck coastal regions in Asia and Africa in December 2004. In the
neutral-mood condition, they read about the January 2005 landing
of the Huygens probe on Titan. In the positive-mood condition,
they read about the November 2004 birth of a polar bear, osten-
sibly in the London Zoo (actually in the Detroit Zoo). Then they
completed a measure of nostalgia, rating the extent to which they
missed 18 aspects of their past (e.g., ‘‘holidays I went on,’’ ‘‘past TV
shows, movies,’’ ‘‘someone I loved’’). Participants in the negative-
mood condition were more nostalgic (i.e., missed more aspects of
their past) than were participants in the other two conditions.
In another study, loneliness was successfully induced by
giving participants false (high vs. low) feedback on a ‘‘loneli-
ness’’ test (i.e., they were led to believe they were either lonely or
not lonely based on the feedback). Subsequently, participants
rated how much they missed 18 aspects of their past. Partici-
pants in the high-loneliness condition were more nostalgic than
those in the low-loneliness condition. These findings were rep-
licated among 9- to 15-year-old Chinese children, Chinese un-
dergraduates, and Chinese factory workers (Zhou et al., in press).
Why might negative mood and loneliness trigger nostalgia?
The psychological significance of nostalgia may reside in its
capacity to counteract distress and restore psychological equa-
nimity. But what are the pathways through which nostalgia exerts
such palliative benefits?
The Psychological Significance of Nostalgia
Wildschut et al. (2006) randomly assigned British undergradu-
ates to a nostalgia or ordinary-event condition. They induced
Volume 17—Number 5 305
C. Sedikides et al.
nostalgia in one of two ways. First, they instructed participants to
think of a nostalgic (vs. ordinary) event from their lives, list four
relevant keywords, and reflect briefly upon the event and how it
made them feel. Second, they provided participants with the
definition of nostalgia and instructed them to bring to mind a
nostalgic autobiographical event, immerse themselves in the
experience, and write about it for 6 minutes. Here, in the control
condition, participants thought about the ordinary event as if
they were observers, imagined the event as though they were
historians recording factual details, and produced a factual ac-
count. (Notably, further studies have additionally contrasted
nostalgia with reflections on positive events, positive future
events, and autobiographical memories.)
Followingsuccessful nostalgia manipulation checks, Wildschut
et al. (2006) assessed affect, self-regard, and social connect-
edness. They assessed affect either with the items ‘‘happy,’’
‘‘content,’’ ‘‘sad,’’ and ‘‘blue’’ or with the Positive and Negative
Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988).
They assessed self-regard either with the items ‘‘significant’’
and ‘‘self-esteem’’ or with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale
(Rosenberg, 1965). Finally, they assessed social connectedness
using (a) the items ‘‘loved’’ and ‘‘protected’’ (b) the Revised
Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (Fraley, Waller, &
Brennan, 2000), which indexes attachment anxiety and avoid-
ance; and (c) the Interpersonal Competence Questionnaire
(Buhrmeister, Furman, Wittenberg, & Reis, 1998); the assess-
ment focused on perceived competence in initiating social in-
teractions, self-disclosing, and providing emotional support.
Wildschut et al. (2006) proposed that nostalgia serves as a
repository of positive affect. Nostalgia has been characterized as
a ‘‘joyous’’ experience that gives rise to ‘‘a feeling of elation’’
(Kaplan, 1987, p. 465). Indeed, nostalgic participants reported
more positive (but not negative) affect than did control partici-
pants. Nostalgia generates positive affectivity.
Wildschut et al. (2006) also proposed that nostalgia enhances
positive self-regard. Nostalgia has been theorized to bestow
‘‘an endearing luster’’ on the self and to cast ‘‘marginal, fugitive,
and eccentric facets of earlier selves in a positive light’’
(Davis, 1979, pp. 41–46). Indeed, nostalgic participants
reported higher self-regard than did control participants. Nos-
talgia not only elevates positive self-regard, it also increases the
implicit accessibility of positive self-attributes and attenuates
self-esteem defence (Vess, Arndt, Routledge, Sedikides, &
Wildschut, 2008).
Moreover, Wildschut et al. (2006) proposed that nostalgia
strengthens social bonds. Nostalgia is a social emotion; it has
been said that, during nostalgic reverie, ‘‘the mind is ‘peopled’’’
(Hertz, 1990, p. 195). Symbolic ties with close others are af-
firmed, and close others come to be momentarily part of one’s
present. Indeed, nostalgic participants manifested stronger so-
cial connectedness than did control participants: They felt more
loved and protected, had reduced attachment anxiety and
avoidance, and reported greater interpersonal competence.
Would nostalgia be capable of counteracting the negative ef-
fects of loneliness? Can nostalgia serve a coping function? Zhou
et al. (in press) addressed this question. They found that lone-
liness is associated with, or triggers, perceived lack of social
support. At the same time, loneliness is associated with, or
triggers, nostalgia. Interestingly, nostalgia is associated with, or
triggers, perceptions of social support. Loneliness directly re-
duces perceptions of social support, but indirectly increases
such perceptions via nostalgia: Nostalgia magnifies perceptions
of social support, thus counteracting the effect of loneliness.
Finally, Routledge, Arndt, Sedikides, and Wildschut (2008)
proposed that nostalgia imbues life with meaning, which facil-
itates coping with existential threat. One of the primary human
challenges is carving out a meaningful existence. Yet, awareness
of inevitable mortality presents a major obstacle on the path to
psychological equanimity. According to terror management
theory, one can mitigate existential anxiety through shared be-
liefs about the nature of reality that imbue life with meaning.
Nostalgia can contribute an overall sense of enduring meaning to
one’s life. In several studies testing American undergraduates,
Routledge et al. supported this existential function of nostalgia.
After being reminded of their mortality (relative to an aversive
dental procedure), the more nostalgic participants felt, the more
meaningful they perceived their life to be. Also, after reminders
of mortality (relative to a dental procedure or failing an important
exam), participants who were more prone to nostalgia (e.g., had
reported frequent engagement in nostalgia), or who had received
a nostalgia induction, actually had fewer death-related thoughts.
Nostalgia boosted perceptions of life as meaningful and
assuaged existential threat.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS
Another key function of nostalgia is that it may facilitate con-
tinuity between past and present selves. Nostalgia may facilitate
use of positive perceptions about the past to bolster a sense of
continuity and meaning in one’s life (Sedikides, Wildschut,
Gaertner, Routledge, & Arndt, 2008). An additional function of
nostalgia may be its motivating potential. Nostalgia may boost
optimism, spark inspiration, and foster creativity (Stephan,
Wildschut, Sedikides, Routledge, & Arndt, 2008). Recent re-
search provides initial evidence for both of these possibilities. Of
course, there may also be complex nuances that merit attention.
Nostalgia may erode a sense of meaning in the present and may
forestall motivation, if the individual is fixated on better days
gone by.
Socioemotional selectivity theory (Carstensen, Isaacowitz, &
Charles, 1999) proposes that, with advancing age, people come
to view their life span as limited. They shift attention away from
future-oriented, knowledge-related goals and emphasize the
importance of purpose and meaning in life and of being em-
bedded in a social network. This raises two issues about nos-
306 Volume 17—Number 5
Nostalgia
talgia. First, are age-related changes in motivation reflected in
the frequency and content of nostalgia? Older (compared to
younger) adults may experience nostalgia more frequently and
assign a more prominent role to close others in their nostalgic
reverie. Second, does nostalgia acquire greater significance in
older age? Bereavement and declines in physical health may
render older adults especially vulnerable to social isolation,
which, in turn, would impair the formation and maintenance of
intimate friendships and social networks. Nostalgia, then, would
have an important role to play in reestablishing a symbolic
connection with significant others.
CODA
Regarded throughout centuries as a psychological ailment,
nostalgia is now emerging as a fundamental human strength. It is
part of the fabric of everyday life and serves at least four key
psychological functions: It generates positive affect, elevates
self-esteem, fosters social connectedness, and alleviates exis-
tential threat. By so doing, nostalgia can help one navigate
successfully the vicissitudes of daily life. More generally, nos-
talgia is uniquely positioned to offer integrative insights across
such areas of psychology as memory, emotion, the self, and re-
lationships. Nostalgia has a long past and an exciting future.
Recommended Reading
Batcho, K.I. (1995). Nostalgia: A psychological perspective. Perceptual
and Motor Skills,80, 131–143. Reports a measure of nostalgia in
which participants rate the extent to which they missed aspects of
their past.
Davis, F. (1979). (See References). A scholarly introduction of the
construct of nostalgia, and a review of available evidence.
Routledge, C., Arndt, J., Sedikides, C., & Wildschut, T. (2008). (See
References). An empirical demonstration of the existential func-
tion of nostalgia.
Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., & Baden, D. (2004). (See References). A
review of historical conceptions of nostalgia coupled with specu-
lations about nostalgia’s functions.
Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., Arndt, J., & Routledge, C.D. (2006). (See
References). An exploration of the content and triggers of nostalgic
accounts, as well as an empirical foray into the affective, self-re-
gard, and social-connectedness functions of nostalgia.
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... Individu yang mengingat pengalaman nostalgia cenderung memiliki lebih banyak emosi positif atas persepsi mereka tentang masa lalu, yang selanjutnya dapat memberikan sumber daya untuk emosi positif dalam ingatan masa depan. Selain itu, Sedikides et al. (2008) mengungkapkan bahwa nostalgia sebagai sumber makna hidup diketahui dapat mengantarkan individu pada pengalaman kebahagiaan yang lebih tinggi, yang berarti telah menunjukkan pengaruhnya terhadap kesejahteraan subjektif. ...
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Perbedaan makna kesejahteraan dalam konsep welfare dan well-being telah menciptakan kesenjangan dalam produk kebijakan sosial yang seringkali didominasi oleh aspek objektif-material. Sebagai salah satu upaya dalam memahami konsep kesejahteraan secara utuh, tulisan ini berfokus pada makna kesejahteraan subjektif bagi salah satu kelompok dengan kerentanan ganda, yaitu perempuan penyandang disabilitas dengan kontekstualisasi masa pandemi COVID-19. Penelitian ini dilakukan melalui wawancara mendalam dengan sembilan orang perempuan penyandang disabilitas di KSM Harapan Mulia. Dengan menggunakan konsep kesejahteraan subjektif dan perspektif interseksionalitas sebagai kerangka teoritis, penelitian ini menunjukkan beberapa hasil penting. Pertama, pemaknaan perempuan penyandang disabilitas atas kesejahteraan subjektif berkaitan erat dengan konsekuensinya sebagai perempuan serta penyandang status disabilitas. Kedua, temuan tersebut mendasari temuan lain bahwa kesejahteraan subjektif tidak secara ‘murni’ terbatas pada penilaian internal, melainkan disertai dengan pengaruh-pengaruh yang berasal dari konteks objektif di luar individu yang saling bersilangan. Kata kunci: kesejahteraan subjektif, perempuan disabilitas, kerentanan ganda, pandemi COVID-19 The distinctive aspect in the meaning of welfare and well-being in its perception has created gaps in social policy products which are often dominated by objective-material aspects. In an attempt to comprehend the concept of welfare and well-being as a whole, this study focuses on the meaning of subjective well-being for one of the groups with multiple vulnerabilities, namely women with disabilities contextualization during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research is conducted through in-depth interviews with nine women with disabilities at KSM HarapanMulia. By applying the concept of subjective well-being and the perspective of intersectionality as a theoretical framework, this study resulted in several main points. First, the perspective of women with disabilities on subjective well-being are closely related to the consequences as women and persons with disability. Second, this result underlies another result that subjective well- being is not 'purely' limited to internal judgments but is accompanied by intersecting influences originating from objective contexts outside the individual. Keywords: subjective well-being, women with disabilities, multiple vulnerabilities, COVID-19 pandemic
... Self-continuity refers to the feeling of connection that consumers have with their past, the person they were in the past, and a certain degree of stability in their life (Sedikides et al., 2008). Therefore, the question-items applied in this research include: 'I feel connected with my past', 'I feel connected with who I was in the past', and 'There is continuity in my life'. ...
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The following study investigated the impact of nostalgia on the intention to purchase the Minnesota Wild 2022 NHL Winter Classic retro jersey, with consideration to self-continuity, pride, team identification, team attachment, and team loyalty. Quantitative data were gathered from 155 NHL spectators, mainly from the USA, and assessed through a confirmatory factory analysis. The study found that nostalgia is mediated through feelings of pride evoked by the Wild’s Winter Classic jersey to positively influence the intention to purchase the jersey. It was further found that a second path leads from nostalgia to pride, that positively impacts team identification, which then incites affective emotions to strengthen team attachment, and finally exerts a positive influence on the intention to buy the jersey. Furthermore, no significant direct effect was found from nostalgia to purchase intention, nor from self-congruity and team loyalty to purchase intension. Based upon the findings of this research, the article offers recommendations for retro marketing of the Minnesota Wild 2022 NHL Winter Classic jersey through marketing communications.
... They concluded that while the nostalgia resulting from these losses was painful (especially when coupled with personal and/or violent experiences), the study's participants also expressed optimism for potentially positive affects brought by these changes. To be sure, evidence from psychology indicates that the overall impact of nostalgic experiences is indeed positive; from their literature review on the subject, Sedikides et al. (2008) conclude that nostalgia 'generates positive affectivity', improves how individuals regard themselves and strengthens social bonds. ...
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This chapter reviews research on the emotional attachment to older or historic places through both a phenomenological perspective and neuroscience to help understand the emotional experience of being in historic places. In historic environments, the presence of decay or patina has a strong influence on the degree and type of emotional attachment that people experience. Visual preference studies indicate that people who are strongly drawn to live or work within historic environments are more likely to prefer environmental decay and to perceive this decay as less old and in better condition that the general population. To date, neuroscience has been unable to directly answer questions related to the complex concept of emotional attachments to place, instead remaining focused on understanding elemental neurological functions. There is no overarching theory for how all of the parts of the brain work together to produce something as complex as place attachment, much less attachment to historic places. Evidence related to attachment to historic places is reviewed, including an unpublished study by the National Trust (UK) in which the perception of historic places seems to involve the amygdala, the medial prefrontal cortex, and the parahippocampal place area.
... Nostalgia is, therefore, a highly interdisciplinary area of study, as Pickering and Keightley (2006, p. 922) explain: nostalgia has been used in many fields of study as a critical tool to interrogate the articulation of the past in the present, and in particular, to investigate sentimentally inflected mediated representations of the past Psychological research into nostalgia draws on the origins of nostalgia as an illness, with a focus on the individual. Psychologists have found that nostalgia transcends different social groups and age categories and can be a positive experience that allows individuals to have resilience and cope with challenges (Sedikides et al., 2008). However, there are mixed views about nostalgia, and some see it as negative; as Pickering and Keightley (2006, p. 921) explain: "Nostalgia can be both melancholic and utopian." ...
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‘Setting out to de-mystify energy innovation, this book provides a comprehensive, grounded and accessible overview of the insights that a social perspective on energy transitions brings. With a focus on smart grids, drawing on examples from Australia and around the world, it explores the dynamics of innovation in practice, the stories we tell about it, and how nostalgia for times gone past will shape energy futures. A practical, insightful guide for the transition pathways ahead.’ —Professor Harriet Bulkeley, Durham University, and Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University ‘The electricity grid already was a uniquely complex machine so what does it take to make it “smart”? Engineering can detail the material ingredients, but only the social sciences can explain the messy process of trying to make such innovations happen. In the short space of this unique book, Lovell provides expert guidance to the social science theories behind innovation, sheds new light on Australia’s smart grid experiments and (wait for it) explains why nostalgia matters.’ —Dan van der Horst, Professor of Energy, Environment and Society, University of Edinburgh ‘Lovell presents an accessible and insightful framework for considering energy innovation. Through current case studies, she makes a powerful argument for more attention to be given to the social and human dimensions of innovation in the energy transition. This is a valuable contribution for those who commission and fund energy research, those who undertake research, and those who use the results.’ —Drew Clarke, Chair, Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) ‘Australian Energy Transition Research Plan’ This open access book uses smart grids to explore and better understand energy innovation, from a social science perspective. It provides ways to think about and plan for energy sector reform and innovation, drawing on core ideas from social and innovation theory, and centred on smart grids as a case study. Heather Lovell is Professor of Energy and Society at the University of Tasmania, Australia.
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Consumers share various content about material and experiential products on social media for short‐term via temporary posts or long‐term via permanent posts. Based on memory protection and hedonic adaptation theories, this study investigates whether product type determines how long consumers display their products on social media. We suggest experiential products elicit more proactive nostalgia—the desire to have a permanent record of a current episode to remember and relive it in the future—than material products do encouraging long‐term product displays on social media. We conducted five experiments. Results demonstrate the following: (a) consumers are more likely to share experiential (vs. material) products via permanent (vs. temporary) posts on social media (Study 1 and 2); (b) consumers tend to share permanent posts when products are (externally or internally) framed as experiential versus material (Study 3 and 4); and (c) proactive nostalgia (for oneself and about others) mediates the relationship between product type and product display duration on social media (Study 4 and 5). Findings elucidate how product type and proactive nostalgia influence product engagement on social media and suggest managers can utilize product display duration as a product valuation metric and proactive nostalgia as a facilitator of long‐term word‐of‐mouth.
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While social exclusion in the consumption context has gained significant interest recently, its literature remains fragmented and underexplored due to restricted categorization and limited conceptual lenses. This systematic review attempts to broaden social exclusion literature by including multiple possible aspects of social exclusion, and providing a nuanced approach to identifying changes in the consumption response of excluded individuals. Using the “Scientific Procedures and Rationales for Systematic Literature Review” (SPAR‐4‐SLR) (Paul et al., 2021) protocol to assemble, arrange, and assess studies published between 2010 and 2021, we selected 83 studies as the basis of this review. With the objective of providing a synthesized view of the existing literature and presenting possible explanations for inconsistencies, this paper (a) undertakes a systematic review of the existing research in the domain, (b) introduces a conceptual framework, and (c) provides a taxonomy to categorize diverse strands of consumption responses. Identifying gaps, this study also provides directions for future research using the TCCM (Theory, Characteristics, Context, and Methodology) framework (Paul and Rosado‐Serrano, 2019; Paul and Criado, 2020). This study can thus enable marketers, advertisers, and public policymakers to understand the needs of socially excluded individuals, and subsequently make more inclusive decisions.
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Nostalgia arises from tender and yearnful reflection on meaningful life events or important persons from one’s past. In the last two decades, the literature has documented a variety of ways in which nostalgia benefits psychological well-being. Only a handful of studies, however, have addressed the neural basis of the emotion. In this prospective review, we postulate a neural model of nostalgia. Self-reflection, autobiographical memory, regulatory capacity, and reward are core components of the emotion. Thus, nostalgia involves brain activities implicated in self-reflection processing (medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus), autobiographical memory processing (hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus), emotion regulation processing (anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex), and reward processing (striatum, substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, ventromedial prefrontal cortex). Nostalgia’s potential to modulate activity in these core neural substrates has both theoretical and applied implications.
Chapter
In 1969, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young released their self-titled album containing the classic song "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." A particularly striking lyric from this song recommended: "Don't let the past remind us of what we are not now." This evocative line suggests a question with far-reaching social psychological implications. How does a person's sense of the past contribute to (or detract from) the perceived continuity of his or her identity? This chapter entertains that question. We are concerned with the continuity within or between two fundamental sources of identity: the individual and collective selves. In particular, we focus on the temporal continuity between individual selves, between individual and collective selves, and between collective selves. We begin by defining the two types of self, specifying their possible relations, and asking how the seeming continuity within or between them is maintained. We proceed to argue that nostalgia is an important mechanism that enables this continuity, and we support our argument with a review of the empirical literature.
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In recent studies of the structure of affect, positive and negative affect have consistently emerged as two dominant and relatively independent dimensions. A number of mood scales have been created to measure these factors; however, many existing measures are inadequate, showing low reliability or poor convergent or discriminant validity. To fill the need for reliable and valid Positive Affect and Negative Affect scales that are also brief and easy to administer, we developed two 10-item mood scales that comprise the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The scales are shown to be highly internally consistent, largely uncorrelated, and stable at appropriate levels over a 2-month time period. Normative data and factorial and external evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for the scales are also presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
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Recent years have witnessed an upsurge of interest among theorists and researchers in autobiographical recollections, life stories, and narrative approaches to understanding human behavior and experience. An important development in this context is D. P. McAdams's life story model of identity (1985; see also records 1993-97296-000 and 1996-06098-001), which asserts that people living in modern societies provide their lives with unity and purpose by constructing internalized and evolving narratives of the self. The idea that identity is a life story resonates with a number of important themes in developmental, cognitive, personality, and cultural psychology. This article reviews and integrates recent theory and research on life stories as manifested in investigations of self-understanding, autobiographical memory, personality structure and change, and the complex relations between individual lives and cultural modernity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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According to terror management theory, people turn to meaning-providing structures to cope with the knowledge of inevitable mortality. Recent theory and research suggest that nostalgia is a meaning-providing resource and thus may serve such an existential function. The current research tests and supports this idea. In Experiments 1 and 2, nostalgia proneness was measured and mortality salience manipulated. In Experiment 1, when mortality was salient, the more prone to nostalgia participants were, the more they perceived life to be meaningful. In Experiment 2, when mortality was salient, the more prone to nostalgia participants were, the less death thoughts were accessible. In Experiment 3, nostalgia and mortality salience were manipulated. It was found that nostalgia buffered the effects of mortality salience on death-thought accessibility.
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Four studies tested whether nostalgia can counteract reductions in perceived social support caused by loneliness. Loneliness reduced perceptions of social support but increased nostalgia. Nostalgia, in turn, increased perceptions of social support. Thus, loneliness affected perceived social support in two distinct ways. Whereas the direct effect of loneliness was to reduce perceived social support, the indirect effect of loneliness was to increase perceived social support via nostalgia. This restorative function of nostalgia was particularly apparent among resilient persons. Nostalgia is a psychological resource that protects and fosters mental health.
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This paper examines the coping mechanism of aging survivors of the Holocaust with the extreme traumatic stressors they experienced in the past. Differences in the role of memories, reminiscences and nostalgic longings are presented. The potential role of sensory stimuli in the development of reminiscences and nostalgic feelings is emphasized. The comparison of the genesis of reminiscences and nostalgic phenomena may offer additional parameters for the understanding of the symptom formation in the elderly.