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Emotion. 2013 Jun;13(3):450-61. doi: 10.1037/a0030442. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

In search of meaningfulness: nostalgia as an antidote to boredom.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Republic of Ireland. Wijnand.vanTilburg@ul.ie

Abstract

We formulated, tested, and supported, in 6 studies, a theoretical model according to which individuals use nostalgia as a way to reinject meaningfulness in their lives when they experience boredom. Studies 1-3 established that induced boredom causes increases in nostalgia when participants have the opportunity to revert to their past. Studies 4 and 5 examined search for meaning as a mediator of the effect of boredom on nostalgia. Specifically, Study 4 showed that search for meaning mediates the effect of state boredom on nostalgic memory content, whereas Study 5 demonstrated that search for meaning mediates the effect of dispositional boredom on dispositional nostalgia. Finally, Study 6 examined the meaning reestablishment potential of nostalgia during boredom: Nostalgia mediates the effect of boredom on sense of meaningfulness and presence of meaning in one's life. Nostalgia counteracts the meaninglessness that individuals experience when they are bored.

PMID:
23163710
DOI:
10.1037/a0030442
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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