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Unformatted text preview: 000 q 2011 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc. Vol. 39 June 2012 All rights reserved. 0093-5301/2012/3901-0014$10.00. DOI: 10.1086/662199 Nostalgia: The Gift That Keeps on Giving XINYUE ZHOU TIM WILDSCHUT CONSTANTINE SEDIKIDES KAN SHI CONG FENG 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 charitys 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 hypoth- eses. 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 nos- talgia increases tangible charitable behavior. By virtue of its capacity to increase empathy, nostalgia facilitates prosocial reactions. N ostalgia, a sentimental longing for the past, is a self- relevant and social emotion. Descriptions of nostalgic experiences typically feature the self as a protagonist inter- acting with close others in the context of momentous life events (Wildschut et al. 2006). Nostalgia serves vital rela- tional functions: it bolsters social bonds and increases per- ceived social support (Sedikides et al. 2008). However, em- Xinyue Zhou (email@example.com), Sun Yat-Sen Business School and Department of Psychology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China; Tim Wildschut (firstname.lastname@example.org), School of Psy- chology, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, England, UK; Constantine Sedikides (email@example.com), Centre for Research on Self and Identity, School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, England, UK; Kan Shi (firstname.lastname@example.org), Grad- uate University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China; Cong Feng (email@example.com), Department of Psychology and De- partment of Philosophy, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China. This research was supported by grants from the Key Program and General Program (31171002) of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province, China (2008B080701041), and the 985-3 Research Program of Sun Yat-Sen University (90026-3284000). We thank Biao Fu and Hong Luo for their assistance in conducting the research. Correspondence con- cerning this article should be addressed to Xinyue Zhou....
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