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Odyssey’s end: Lay conceptions of nostalgia reflect its original Homeric meaning

Hepper, E, Ritchie, TD, Sedikides, C and Wildschut, T (2012) Odyssey’s end: Lay conceptions of nostalgia reflect its original Homeric meaning Emotion, 12 (1). pp. 102-119.

Hepper Ritchie Sedikides Wildschut 2012 Emotion Nostalgia preprint.pdf
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Nostalgia fulfills pivotal functions for individuals, but lacks an empirically-derived and comprehensive definition. We examined lay conceptions of nostalgia using a prototype approach. In Study 1, participants generated open-ended features of nostalgia, which were coded into categories. In Study 2, participants rated the centrality of these categories, which were subsequently classified as central (e.g., memories, relationships, happiness) or peripheral (e.g., daydreaming, regret, loneliness). Central (compared to peripheral) features were more often recalled and falsely recognized (Study 3), were classified more quickly (Study 4), were judged to reflect more nostalgia in a vignette (Study 5), better characterized participants’ own nostalgic (vs. ordinary) experiences (Study 6), and prompted higher levels of actual nostalgia and its intrapersonal benefits when used to trigger a personal memory, regardless of age (Study 7). These findings highlight that lay people view nostalgia as a self-relevant and social blended emotional and cognitive state, featuring a mixture of happiness and loss. The findings also aid understanding of nostalgia’s functions and identify new methods for future research.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : February 2012
Identification Number : 10.1037/a0025167
Uncontrolled Keywords : nostalgia, prototype, emotions, memory, self
Related URLs :
Additional Information : The published version, © American Psychological Association, will be available at This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 07 Jun 2013 15:23
Last Modified : 23 Sep 2013 19:45

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