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Nostalgia, an Emotional Mega Star

I recently read an article where the author likened memory and imagination to time travel. The memory, he said, is traveling to the past, and imagination is traveling to the future. While we may not physically be able to visit the past, we can mentally do it through remembrance. Of course, that’s called nostalgia.

A study conducted by four UK professors with the decidedly unemotional title The Psychological Functions of Nostalgia revealed that the external triggers for creating a sense of nostalgia are the human senses. The taste of a particular food can take you back to your childhood, hearing a song can stimulate memories of long-lost love and so on. The good professors also state that nostalgic memories are almost always positive. To quote the study, It seems we see the past in “rose-colored glasses.”
According to the study, people of all ages experience nostalgia. It stands to reason, however, that the older you are, the more memories you have to draw from to create those nostalgic experiences. Another demographic factor for invoking nostalgia is location. While we all have some memories in common, people growing up in different parts of the United States or other countries have memories specific to that location.
To summarize, Strong Emotions create positive outcomes, and nostalgia evokes strong emotions. The more human senses you use to convey a message, the better opportunity you have to create strong emotions.
“Nostalgia is a self-relevant, social, and predominantly positive emotion. Notably, nostalgia is not a passive and futile evocation of one’s past. Rather, it has strong implications for the future. It can alleviate discomfort while inculcating the dynamism and motivation needed for future-oriented action. Future research may delve into additional functions of nostalgia while also delineating its boundaries.”
- Constantine Sedikides, Tim Wildschut, Jacob Juhl, W.Y. Cheung

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