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The University of Southampton

Research project: Anticipated nostalgia

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Nostalgia is an emotion people experience when they long for the past. What about a phase in life that is coming to an end or events are yet to happen?

Can people anticipate feeling nostalgic about events in the future? The current project aims to answer these questions by assessing the regulatory functions of anticipated nostalgia. The anticipation of emotions we experience from the outcome of a future event often regulates our current actions and decision. In other words, we adjust our current behaviours, while anticipating how we will feel about the outcome in the future. This view fits with the findings we obtained, which showed that when people anticipate feeling nostalgic about a goal that they will achieve in the future (vs. no anticipation), they experience more motivation to achieve the goal.


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Related research groups

Centre for Research on Self and Identity (CRSI)
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