Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
New research from the University of Southampton shows that feeling nostalgic about the past will increase optimism about the future.
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."
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Psychology / Psychiatry category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
University of Southampton. "Nostalgia increases optimism." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 15 Nov. 2013. Web.
23 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/268806>
University of Southampton. (2013, November 15). "Nostalgia increases optimism." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/268806.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.