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The University of Southampton

Collective Nostalgia Confers Unique Benefits on the Group

Tim Wildschut
Psychology Unit, University of Southampton, UK

Collective nostalgia confers important benefits on the group. These benefits are uniquely associated with collective nostalgia, and were not produced by personal nostalgia. Participants who reflected on a nostalgic (compared to ordinary) event that they had experienced in an ingroup context evaluated the ingroup more favourably. Also, participants reflecting on a nostalgic (compared to ordinary) group-related event identified more strongly with the ingroup and that this effect was specifically mediated by nostalgia rather than positive affect more generally. Finally, participants who reflected on a nostalgic (compared to ordinary) event showed stronger intentions to benefit the ingroup when the recalled event was experienced in an ingroup context (collective nostalgia), but not when it was experienced in an individual context (personal nostalgia). This beneficial effect of collective nostalgia on ingroup-benefiting intentions was mediated by stronger ingroup identification and was independent of positive affect. The findings underscore the viability and necessity of studying nostalgia at multiple levels of analysis and the relevance of collective nostalgia to group and organisational settings.

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