Diploma Thesis from the year 2010 in the subject Psychology - Miscellaneous, grade: 1,0, LMU Munich (Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialpsychologie), language: English, abstract: One of the essences of human being is that we are aware of ourselves in time. We do not only look ahead either with fear or pleasant anticipation, but also like to ...
One of the essences of human being is that we are aware of ourselves in time. We do not only look ahead either with fear or pleasant anticipation, but also like to talk about the "good old days". Nostalgia - which can be regarded as a sentimental longing for the past - has especially recently become an ubiquitous topic in society and media (see TV-Shows like "Die 80er Show" and "Happy Days"). However it is unclear whether nostalgia is finally rather adaptive or maladaptive.
Since its first scientific mentioning in the 17th century nostalgia has been regarded to be a burden or even a clinical disease as it might make people ruminate about better times forlorn or get lost in the past without being able to deal with the present anymore. However recently some psychologists have started suggesting that nostalgia might rather give joy to life.
Yet the issue whether nostalgia is rather a problem or a pleasure has rarely been studied empirically so far. Therefore this book tries to shed some more light on the issue by reporting the results of an empirical study with a representative sample consisting of 160 German citizens.
In line with the historical negative conception of nostalgia and in contrast to its current positive connotation the data show that nostalgia is negatively correlated with life satisfaction. Theoretical implications for possible mediators between nostalgia and life satisfaction are drawn. Furthermore character-traits of highly nostalgic people are observed.