University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism

Cheung, WY, Wildschut, T, Sedikides, C, Hepper, E, Arndt, J and Vingerhoets, AJJM (2013) Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39 (11). pp. 1484-1496.

Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (953kB)
Text (licence)

Download (33kB)


This research examined the proposition that nostalgia is not simply a past-oriented emotion, but its scope extends into the future, and, in particular, a positive future. We adopted a convergent validation approach, using multiple methods to assess the relation between nostalgia and optimism. Study 1 tested whether nostalgic narratives entail traces of optimism; indeed, nostalgic (compared to ordinary) narratives contained more expressions of optimism. Study 2 manipulated nostalgia through the recollection of nostalgic (vs. ordinary) events, and showed that nostalgia boosts optimism. Study 3 demonstrated that the effect of nostalgia (induced with nomothetically-relevant songs) on optimism is mediated by self-esteem. Finally, Study 4 established that nostalgia (induced with idiographically-relevant lyrics) fosters social connectedness, which subsequently increases self-esteem, which then boosts optimism. The nostalgic experience is inherently optimistic and paints a subjectively rosier future.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Cheung, WY
Wildschut, T
Sedikides, C
Hepper, E
Arndt, J
Vingerhoets, AJJM
Date : 8 August 2013
DOI : 10.1177/0146167213499187
Uncontrolled Keywords : nostalgia, optimism, emotion, memory, self-esteem, social connectedness
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Published in "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(11), 1484-1496, 08 August 2013. Copyright 2013 Sage Publications. Available at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 14 Nov 2013 16:56
Last Modified : 17 Aug 2014 01:34

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800