Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism

Date:
November 13, 2013
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
New research shows that feeling nostalgic about the past will increase optimism about the future. The research examined the idea that nostalgia is not simply a past-orientated emotion but its scope extends into the future, with a positive outlook.

New research from the University of Southampton shows that feeling nostalgic about the past will increase optimism about the future.

Related Articles


The research, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, examined the idea that nostalgia is not simply a past-orientated emotion but its scope extends into the future, with a positive outlook.

Dr Tim Wildschut, 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 increase a feeling of optimism about the future."

In one of the reported studies within the paper, the researchers asked participants to bring to mind a nostalgic event and write about it. The number of optimistic words included in the narrative was compared to a control group who were asked to recall and write about an ordinary event. The nostalgic narratives contained a significantly higher proportion of optimistic expressions than the ordinary stories.

A further study capitalised on music's capacity to evoke nostalgia. Participants listened to either a nostalgic or control song (which had been previously validated). Those who listened to the nostalgic song reported higher levels of optimism than those who listened to the control song.

In a final study, participants were presented with song lyrics that half the group had previously identified to be nostalgic. They were then asked to complete questions about how they felt. Those who read the personally nostalgic lyrics reported higher levels of optimism than those who read the control lyrics.

The studies also highlighted the roles of self-esteem. Dr Wildschut explains: "Nostalgia raises self-esteem which in turn heightens optimism. Our findings have shown that nostalgia does have the capacity to facilitate perceptions of a more positive future. Memories of the past can help to maintain current feelings of self-worth and can contribute to a brighter outlook on the future. Our findings do imply that nostalgia, by promoting optimism, could help individuals cope with psychological adversity."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. W.-Y. Cheung, T. Wildschut, C. Sedikides, E. G. Hepper, J. Arndt, A. J. J. M. Vingerhoets. Back to the Future: Nostalgia Increases Optimism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2013; 39 (11): 1484 DOI: 10.1177/0146167213499187

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113080220.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2013, November 13). Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113080220.htm
University of Southampton. "Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131113080220.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) — Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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