IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Nostalgia: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

  • Xinyue Zhou
  • Tim Wildschut
  • Constantine Sedikides
  • Kan Shi
  • Cong Feng
Registered author(s):

    Nostalgia, a sentimental longing for a personally experienced and valued past, is a social emotion. It refers to significant others in the context of momentous life events and fosters a sense of social connectedness. On this basis, the authors hypothesized that (1) nostalgia promotes charitable intentions and behavior, and (2) this effect is mediated by empathy with the charity’s beneficiaries. Five studies assessed the effect of nostalgia on empathy, intentions to volunteer and donate, as well as tangible charitable behavior. Results were consistent with the hypotheses. Study 1 found that nostalgia increases charitable intentions. Study 2 showed that this salutary effect of nostalgia on charitable intentions is mediated by empathy (but not by personal distress). Studies 3 and 4 corroborated these finding for different charities and in diverse samples. Finally, study 5 demonstrated that nostalgia increases tangible charitable behavior. By virtue of its capacity to increase empathy, nostalgia facilitates prosocial reactions.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 39 - 50

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/662199
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:doi:10.1086/662199. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.