When bittersweet turns sour: adverse effects of nostalgia on habitual worriers


Verplanken, B., 2012. When bittersweet turns sour: adverse effects of nostalgia on habitual worriers. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42 (3), pp. 285-289.

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Nostalgic memories can be pleasant, albeit bittersweet, and have been found beneficial for well-being. This study demonstrated that for individuals who habitually worry, nostalgia may not be such a nourishing experience. Nostalgia was experimentally induced using a visual imagery task and resulted in positive affect. Although this was also the case for participants who habitually worry, these individuals subsequently showed more signs of anxiety and depression than habitual worriers in a control condition. The findings fit within a control theoretical perspective; as habitual worriers' actual chronic state of anxiety contrasts with nostalgic memories of a carefree past, this may instigate further rumination leading to distress. A more present-oriented time perspective, such as mindfulness, is discussed as being beneficial for habitual worriers.


Item Type Articles
CreatorsVerplanken, B.
Related URLs
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Psychology
ID Code29438


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