Volume 5, Article 6
Nostalgia fosters authenticity: A study to understand the link and its consequences for well-being
Citation: Misurya, P. (2021). ‘Nostalgia fosters authenticity: A study to understand the link and its consequences for wellbeing.’ European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, 5, 6, 1-10. https://www.nationalwellbeingservice.org/volumes/volume-5-2021/volume-5-article-6/
Processing dates: Submitted 4 October 2020; Resubmitted 22 December 2020; Accepted 11 January 2021; Published 15 March 2021
Background: The history of nostalgia has seen several advances, from being initially understood as a form of psychological dysfunction to gradually emerging as an important psychological
resource for health and well-being. However, nostalgia has not been studied in detail with regard to a very important aspect of psychological functioning, i.e., authenticity.
Objective: The present research seeks to contribute to the growing literature on the positive functions served by nostalgia, specifically to assess whether nostalgia increases state authenticity,
the mediating role of authenticity in the link between nostalgia and well-being as well as the downstream consequences of this link on well-being.
Method: For the purpose of the study, an experimental induction of nostalgia as well as questionnaire measures of authenticity and well-being were utilized in a within-subject design. The experiment included 58 students from the University of Southampton, U.K.
Results: There are significant effects of nostalgia on authenticity and well-being. Authenticity mediated the effect of nostalgia on well-being.
Conclusion: Nostalgia is an important psychological resource that has a range of psychological benefits to offer, it increases authenticity, and due to its influence on authenticity, it also
contributes to psychological well-being. The future directions of the study, along with potential limitations are further discussed.
Keywords: nostalgia, state authenticity, well-being, mediation test, positive psychology
Pranati Misurya is with the University of Southampton, UK