What is it about?

Nostalgia, or a fond remembrance for one's past, is a common experience. But does the frequency of nostalgia differ across the adult lifespan? We assessed the frequency of nostalgia in an experience-sampling study across two weeks among young, middle-aged, and older adults. We also examined the emotions associated with a nostalgic event and whether they differed with age.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that the frequency of nostalgia increases with age (from young to middle-aged to older adulthood), but is also associated with more negative emotions for older individuals. Thus, both the quantity and quality of nostalgia differs across the adult lifespan.


I hope this article encourages people to think about the function of nostalgia. Is nostalgia a useful tool for understanding the self? Does nostalgia serve a different function as individuals age? Is there a "right" amount and "wrong" amount of nostalgia for well-being?

Jennifer Stanley
University of Akron

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Holding on to pieces of the past: Daily reports of nostalgia in a life-span sample., Emotion, August 2021, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/emo0000980.
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