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Time Capsule: Nostalgia Shields Psychological Wellbeing from Limited Time Horizons

Hepper, Erica, Wildschut, Tim, Sedikides, Constantine, Robertson, Sara and Routledge, Clay D. (2020) Time Capsule: Nostalgia Shields Psychological Wellbeing from Limited Time Horizons Emotion.

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Nostalgia is a bittersweet—albeit predominantly positive—self-relevant and social emotion that arises from reflecting on fond and meaningful autobiographical memories. Nostalgia might facilitate successful aging by serving as a socioemotional selectivity strategy in the face of limited time horizons. Four studies tested the role of nostalgia in maintaining psychological wellbeing across the adult lifespan and across differing time perspectives. In Study 1, community adults (N = 443, age 18-91) completed measures of nostalgia proneness and six psychological wellbeing dimensions. Age was more positively related to wellbeing for those high than low on nostalgia proneness: High-nostalgic individuals showed a maintenance or increase in psychological wellbeing with age, whereas low-nostalgic individuals did not. In Study 2 (N = 35, age 18-25), experimentally inducing a limited time perspective—a core trigger of socioemotional selectivity—in young adults prompted greater nostalgia. In Study 3 (N = 93, age 18-33) and Study 4 (N = 376, age 18-55), experimentally inducing a limited time perspective reduced some aspects of wellbeing among those who recalled an ordinary (Study 3) or lucky (Study 4) autobiographical memory, but this effect was eliminated among those who recalled a nostalgic memory. Nostalgia buffers perceptions of limited time and facilitates the maintenance of psychological wellbeing across the adult lifespan.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Wildschut, Tim
Sedikides, Constantine
Robertson, Sara
Routledge, Clay D.
Date : 2 January 2020
DOI : 10.1037/emo0000728
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2020, American Psychological Association. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the final, authoritative version of the article. Please do not copy or cite without authors' permission. The final article will be available, upon publication, via its DOI: 10.1037/emo0000728 or at
Uncontrolled Keywords : Nostalgia, Lifespan, Aging, Psychological Wellbeing, Socioemotional Selectivity
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 28 Jan 2020 10:12
Last Modified : 11 Feb 2020 10:34

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