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Citation and Abstract
Heartwarming memories: Nostalgia maintains physiological comfort.
Zhou, Xinyue; Wildschut, Tim; Sedikides, Constantine; Chen, Xiaoxi; Vingerhoets, Ad J. J. M.
Emotion, Vol 12(4), Aug 2012, 678-684.
[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 12(4) of Emotion (see record 2012-15305-001). The last sentence was incorrect. It should read: "Such lines of inquiry may further establish nostalgia as a remarkable adaptation built on the human capacities to think temporally and self-reflectively (Routledge & Arndt, 2005; Sedikides, Skowronski, & Dunbar, 2006), an adaptation that provides an exquisite mechanism to anchor the organism in prior felicitous states."] Nostalgia, a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, is a predominantly positive and social emotion. Recent evidence suggests that nostalgia maintains psychological comfort. Here, we propose, and document in five methodologically diverse studies, a broader homeostatic function for nostalgia that also encompasses the maintenance of physiological comfort. We show that nostalgia—an emotion with a strong connotation of warmth—is triggered by coldness. Participants reported stronger nostalgia on colder (vs. warmer) days and in a cold (vs. neutral or warm) room. Nostalgia, in turn, modulates the interoceptive feeling of temperature. Higher levels of music-evoked nostalgia predicted increased physical warmth, and participants who recalled a nostalgic (vs. ordinary autobiographical) event perceived ambient temperature as higher. Finally, and consistent with the close central nervous system integration of temperature and pain sensations, participants who recalled a nostalgic (vs. ordinary autobiographical) event evinced greater tolerance to noxious cold. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)