Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart-warming memories: Nostalgia can make you feel warmer

Date:
December 3, 2012
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
As the nights draw in and the temperature begins to drop, many of us will be thinking of ways to warm up on the dark winter nights. However, few would think that remembering days gone by would be an effective way of keeping warm.

As the nights draw in and the temperature begins to drop, many of us will be thinking of ways to warm up on the dark winter nights. However, few would think that remembering days gone by would be an effective way of keeping warm.

Related Articles


But research from the University of Southampton has shown that feeling nostalgic can make us feel warmer.

The study, published in the journal Emotion, investigated the effects of nostalgic feelings on reaction to cold and the perception of warmth. The volunteers, from universities in China and the Netherlands, took part in one of five studies.

The first asked participants to keep an account of their nostalgic feelings over 30 days. Results showed they felt more nostalgic on colder days. The second study put participants in one of three rooms: cold (20˚C), comfortable (24˚C) and hot (28˚C), and then measured how nostalgic they felt. Participants felt more nostalgic in the cold room than in the comfortable and hot rooms. The volunteers in the comfortable and hot rooms did not differ.

The third study, which was conducted online, used music to evoke nostalgia to see if it was linked to warmth. The participants who said the music made them feel nostalgic also tended to say that the music made them feel physically warmer.

The fourth study tested the effect of nostalgia on physical warmth by placing participants in a cold room and instructing them to recall either a nostalgic or ordinary event from their past. They were then asked to guess the temperature of the room. Those who recalled a nostalgic event perceived the room they were in to be warmer.

Study five again instructed participants to recall either a nostalgic or ordinary event from their past. They then placed their hand in ice-cold water to see how long they could stand it. Findings showed that the volunteers who indulged in nostalgia held their hand in the water for longer.

Dr Tim Wildschut, senior lecturer at the University of Southampton and co-author of the study, comments: "Nostalgia is experienced frequently and virtually by everyone and we know that it can maintain psychological comfort. For example, nostalgic reverie can combat loneliness. We wanted to take that a step further and assess whether it can also maintain physiological comfort.

"Our study has shown that nostalgia serves a homeostatic function, allowing the mental simulation of previously enjoyed states, including states of bodily comfort; in this case making us feel warmer or increasing our tolerance of cold. More research is now needed to see if nostalgia can combat other forms of physical discomfort, besides low temperature."

The study was carried out in collaboration with researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University and Tilburg University. It was funded by grants from the Key Program and General Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province, China, 985-3 Research Program of Sun Yat-Sen University and the Economic and Social Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Heart-warming memories: Nostalgia can make you feel warmer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203082050.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2012, December 3). Heart-warming memories: Nostalgia can make you feel warmer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203082050.htm
University of Southampton. "Heart-warming memories: Nostalgia can make you feel warmer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203082050.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins