Fighting ageism through nostalgia

Rhiannon Turner, Tim Wildschut, Constantine Sedikides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
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Two experiments tested whether nostalgia is as a resource for fighting ageism. In Experiment 1, younger adults who recalled a nostalgic (vs. ordinary) encounter with an older adult showed a more positive attitude toward older adults, mediated by greater inclusion of older adults in the self (inclusion of outgroup in the self; IOGS). In Experiment 2, these findings were replicated and extended with a subtle nostalgia manipulation. Younger adults identified an older, familiar adult. Then, they wrote about an encounter with this older adult that was characterised by either central (e.g., “keepsakes,” “childhood”) or peripheral (e.g., “wishing,” “daydreaming”) features of the construct of nostalgia (i.e., prototype). Participants who recalled a central (vs. peripheral) nostalgic encounter reported greater social connectedness, which predicted increased IOGS. In turn, increased IOGS was associated with lower desire to avoid older adults. Several alternative explanations for the intergroup benefits of nostalgia were ruled out. The research established that nostalgia qualifies as a resource for combating ageism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-208
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Early online date24 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2017


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