Nostalgia-Evoked Inspiration: Mediating Mechanisms and Motivational Implications

Elena Stephan, Constantine Sedikides, Tim Wildschut, Wing Yee Cheung, Clay Routledge, Jamie Arndt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Six studies examined the nostalgia–inspiration link and its motivational implications. In Study 1, nostalgia proneness was positively associated with inspiration frequency and intensity. In Studies 2 and 3, the recollection of nostalgic (vs. ordinary) experiences increased both general inspiration and specific inspiration to engage in exploratory activities. In Study 4, serial mediational analyses supported a model in which nostalgia increases social connectedness, which subsequently fosters self-esteem, which then boosts inspiration. In Study 5, a rigorous evaluation of this serial mediational model (with a novel nostalgia induction controlling for positive affect) reinforced the idea that nostalgia-elicited social connectedness increases self-esteem, which then heightens inspiration. Study 6 extended the serial mediational model by demonstrating that nostalgia-evoked inspiration predicts goal pursuit (intentions to pursue an important goal). Nostalgia spawns inspiration via social connectedness and attendant self-esteem. In turn, nostalgia-evoked inspiration bolsters motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1395-1410
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number10
StatePublished - 19 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © 2015 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.


  • inspiration
  • motivation
  • nostalgia
  • self-esteem
  • social connectedness


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