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Title: The relationship between nostalgia, social exclusion, and empathy
Author: Cordaro, Filippo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 7866
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2011
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As a positive, social emotion, nostalgia has the potential to reduce the negative impact of social exclusion on empathy. I ran a series of experiments in order to establish the relationship between nostalgia, social exclusion, and empathy. In Studies 1 and 2, participants were instructed to recall either a nostalgic or ordinary autobiographical experience and then read an essay ostensibly written by another participant describing a physically painful ordeal. Afterwards, the participants were asked to report the level of empathy that they felt for the person who wrote the essay. Participants who had previously recalled a nostalgic event reported significantly higher levels of empathy than those who had recalled an ordinary event. In Studies 3 and 4, participants were given randomly assigned future alone, future belonging, or control feedback. Participants who were given future alone (compared to future belonging or control) feedback reported significantly higher levels of nostalgia. Study 5 examined nostalgia’s ability to directly counteract social threats. Individuals who were exposed to a future alone (compared to future belonging) feedback reported lower levels of empathy when they were instructed to recall an ordinary autobiographical experience. However, the future alone manipulation had no significant effect on empathy when participants recalled a nostalgic experience. The results suggest that nostalgia may function as an adaptive reaction to social exclusion, and can prevent people from becoming emotionally numb after being excluded
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology