Nostalgia motivates pursuit of important goals by increasing meaning in life

Constantine Sedikides, Wing-Yee Cheung, Tim Wildschut, Erica G. Hepper, Einar Baldvin Baldursson, Bendt Torpegård Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


This research focused on existential and motivational implications of the emotion of nostalgia. Nostalgia (relative to control) increased meaning in life, which, in turn, galvanised intentions to pursue one's most important goal (Experiment 1) and to pursue one's most important, but not least important, goal (Experiment 2). The basic pattern held in two cultures (British and Danish) independently of positive affect. This is the first evidence that nostalgia has specific motivational consequences (i.e., pursuit of more, but not less, important goals) and transmits these consequences via meaning in life. Also, this is the first evidence that meaning is associated with specific motivational consequences. Discussion considers the relevance of the findings for the emotion and motivation literatures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • goal pursuit
  • management of goal pursuit
  • meaning
  • meaning in life
  • motivation
  • nostalgia

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