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Nostalgia is a bittersweet emotion evoked by memories of cherished personal experiences. Though nostalgia is a self-focused emotion, it has many interpersonal effects as well. Feeling nostalgia increases feelings of social connectedness and self esteem, and may protect against negative effects of existential threat (Wildschut et al., 2006). However, less is known about the extent to which nostalgia relates to anger and aggression. We hypothesized that nostalgia would buffer against the effect of negative feedback on feelings of anger and motivation to aggress. Undergraduate students wrote about a nostalgic or objective memory, and then received negative feedback about another personal writing project. Participants reported their feelings of anger, then had the opportunity to punish the individual who gave them negative feedback by administering loud noise blasts in a competitive game. We discuss the results and real-world implications of these findings.
Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology
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