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Wistful thinking: Why we are wired to dwell on the past | New Scientist
"Nostalgia can provoke political upheaval, xenophobia and bitter tribalism, yet, as psychologists are coming to understand, it can also promote well-being, tolerance and a sense of meaningfulness in life. By better understanding its influence, we are now finding ways to harness its benefits and, just as importantly, anticipate its harms."

"Nostalgia is an antidote to loneliness, not its cause. It springs up when we are feeling low, and in general boosts well-being. Wildschut and colleagues have found that reflecting on nostalgic events you have experienced forges bonds with other people, and enhances positive feelings and self-esteem."

"One theory to explain this is that nostalgia gives us a sense of continuity in life. While so much in our lives can change – jobs, where we live, relationships – nostalgia reminds us that we are the same person we were at our seventh birthday party as on our wedding day and at our retirement celebration. “It is the glue that keeps us together, gives us continuity, and we need that, ever more so, in times of change,” says Krystine Batcho of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York."

"When a group shares an airbrushed vision of the past – something known as “collective nostalgia” – it promotes a sense of belonging and strengthens in-group bonds, which may have had survival benefits in early, tribal societies. But that cohesion comes at the cost of driving discrimination towards outsiders."

"In particular, a certain kind of individual nostalgia can also do more harm than good. Called anticipatory nostalgia, it happens when we miss the present before it has passed. People who often experience it are more prone to sadness and worry, and have a harder time enjoying the moment, Batcho has found."
NewScientist  nostalgia  psychology  loneliness  discrimmination 
january 2017 by pierredv

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