Nostalgia and Temporal Life Satisfaction

Abstract

Recent research has shown that nostalgia, an apparently past-oriented emotion, may render the present self more positive and promote a brighter outlook on the future. The current study examined whether experimentally induced nostalgia would impact the levels of and associations among past, present, and future life satisfaction. Among 250 university students (86 males and 164 females, aged 16–26 years), nostalgia was manipulated through the recollection of nostalgic (vs. ordinary) events. In support of our hypotheses, the results showed that nostalgic experiences not only led to a larger contrast between past life satisfaction versus present and future life satisfaction, but also weaker associations between past and future life satisfaction and between present and future life satisfaction. Overall, the findings suggest that nostalgic experiences can render more distinct judgements on temporal life satisfaction.

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Correspondence to Shengquan Ye.

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Ye, S., Ng, T.K. & Lam, C.L. Nostalgia and Temporal Life Satisfaction. J Happiness Stud 19, 1749–1762 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-017-9884-8

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Keywords

  • Temporal life satisfaction
  • Nostalgia
  • Measurement invariance