It was a most unusual time: : How memory bias engenders nostalgic preferences

Published on Oct 1, 2013in Journal of Behavioral Decision Making
· DOI :10.1002/BDM.1767
Carey K. Morewedge27
Estimated H-index: 27
(CMU: Carnegie Mellon University)
Nostalgic preferences are widespread�people believe past movies, music, television shows, places, and periods of life to have been better than their present counterparts. Three experiments explored the cognitive underpinnings of nostalgic preferences. Participants rated past experiences to have been superior to similar present and recent experiences. These nostalgic preferences appeared to be due to the belief that the atypically positive experiences that participants recalled at the time of judgment were more representative of their past experiences than of their present experiences.
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
987 Citations
124 Citations
176 Citations
#1Carey K. Morewedge (CMU: Carnegie Mellon University)H-Index: 27
#2Alexander Todorov (Princeton University)H-Index: 67
When people predict the future behavior of a person, thinking of that target as an individual decreases the accuracy of their predictions. The present research examined one potential source of this bias, whether and why predictors overweight the atypical past behavior of individuals. The results suggest that predictors do indeed overweight the atypical past behavior of an individual. Atypical past behavior is more cognitively accessible than typical past behavior, which leads it to be overweight...
9 CitationsSource
#1Daniel M. Wegner (Harvard University)H-Index: 85
In slapstick comedy, the worst thing that could happen usually does: The person with a sore toe manages to stub it, sometimes twice. Such errors also arise in daily life, and research traces the tendency to do precisely the worst thing to ironic processes of mental control . These monitoring processes keep us watchful for errors of thought, speech, and action and enable us to avoid the worst thing in most situations, but they also increase the likelihood of such errors when we attempt to exert c...
157 CitationsSource
#1Gal Zauberman (UPenn: University of Pennsylvania)H-Index: 33
#2Rebecca K. Ratner (UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)H-Index: 17
Last. B. Kyu Kim (UPenn: University of Pennsylvania)H-Index: 10
view all 3 authors...
We present five studies supporting our strategic memory protection theory. When people make decisions about experiences to consume over time, they treat their memories of previous experiences as assets to be protected. The first two studies demonstrate that people tend to avoid situations that they believe will threaten their ability to retrieve special (rather than merely pleasant) memories. The next three studies demonstrate that people seek to obtain memory pointers to help them cue special m...
244 CitationsSource
#1Jane L. Risen (U of C: University of Chicago)H-Index: 17
#2Thomas Gilovich (Cornell University)H-Index: 74
The present research explored the belief that it is bad luck to “tempt fate.” Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that people do indeed have the intuition that actions that tempt fate increase the likelihood of negative outcomes. Studies 3–6 examined our claim that the intuition is due, in large part, to the combination of the automatic tendencies to attend to negative prospects and to use accessibility as a cue when judging likelihood. Study 3 demonstrated that negative outcomes are more accessible fo...
147 CitationsSource
#1Clay Routledge (University of Southampton)H-Index: 46
#2Jamie Arndt (MU: University of Missouri)H-Index: 77
Last. Tim Wildschut (University of Southampton)H-Index: 53
view all 4 authors...
According to terror management theory, people turn to meaning-providing structures to cope with the knowledge of inevitable mortality. Recent theory and research suggest that nostalgia is a meaning-providing resource and thus may serve such an existential function. The current research tests and supports this idea. In Experiments 1 and 2, nostalgia proneness was measured and mortality salience manipulated. In Experiment 1, when mortality was salient, the more prone to nostalgia participants were...
385 CitationsSource
#1Jason P. Leboe (UM: University of Manitoba)H-Index: 10
#2Tamara L. Ansons (UM: University of Manitoba)H-Index: 3
Reflections on the past are often accompanied by an experience of nostalgia, or positive sentiments about some prior stage of one’s life. In the current study, we provide evidence suggesting that nostalgic experiences may occur because of positive feelings that accompany the act of successful recall, rather than reflecting the true nature of the past. In a series of experiments, we employed an encoding manipulation to cause some words to support more detailed recollections than others. In turn, ...
80 CitationsSource
#1Timothy D. Ritchie (NIU: Northern Illinois University)H-Index: 20
#2John J. Skowronski (NIU: Northern Illinois University)H-Index: 48
Last. Jeffrey A. Gibbons (CNU: Christopher Newport University)H-Index: 12
view all 6 authors...
Prior research suggests that the negative affect associated with autobiographical memories fades faster across time than the positive affect associated with such memories (i.e., the fading affect bias, FAB). Data described in the present article reveal several moderators of this bias. The FAB is small when events are perceived to be self-important, psychologically open, or self-caused; it is large when events are perceived to be atypical of a person's life. The data also suggest that the FAB is ...
121 CitationsSource
#1Carey K. Morewedge (Harvard University)H-Index: 27
#2Daniel T. Gilbert (Harvard University)H-Index: 65
Last. Timothy D. Wilson (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 78
view all 3 authors...
Atypical events are both memorable and unrepresentative of their class. We tested the hypotheses that (a) people tend to recall atypical instances of events, and (b) when they are unaware of this, they rely on these atypical instances in forecasting their affective reactions to future events. In three studies, participants who were asked to recall an instance of an event and participants who were asked to recall an atypical instance of an event recalled equally atypical instances. However, only ...
246 CitationsSource
#1Jeremy M. Wolfe (Brigham and Women's Hospital)H-Index: 81
#2Todd S. Horowitz (Brigham and Women's Hospital)H-Index: 45
As you drive into the centre of town, cars and trucks approach from several directions, and pedestrians swarm into the intersection. The wind blows a newspaper into the gutter and a pigeon does something unexpected on your windshield. This would be a demanding and stressful situation, but you would probably make it to the other side of town without mishap. Why is this situation taxing, and how do you cope?
1,936 CitationsSource
#1Derrick Wirtz (UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)H-Index: 13
#2Justin Kruger (UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)H-Index: 26
Last. Ed Diener (UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)H-Index: 183
view all 4 authors...
When individuals choose future activities on the basis of their past experiences, what guides those choices? The present study compared students' predicted, on-line, and remembered spring-break experiences, as well as the influence of these factors on students' desire to take a similar vacation in the future. Predicted and remembered experiences were both more positive—and, paradoxically, more negative—than on-line experiences. Of key importance, path analyses revealed that remembered experience...
661 CitationsSource
Cited By17
#1Victoria Hotchin (Goldsmiths, University of London)H-Index: 3
#2Keon West (Goldsmiths, University of London)H-Index: 15
OBJECTIVE Personality change is a growing field of interest, but relatively few studies have examined causes of change in Openness. We investigated whether it is possible to influence state Openness, and through what mechanisms this effect may occur. METHOD In two experiments (Study 1: N = 144, Mage = 36.4, 58% female, 88% White; Study 2: N = 269, Mage = 34.0, 60% female, 91% White) participants reflected on and wrote about a personal experience requested to be either: nostalgic; positive and no...
People’s self-concept contributes to their sense of identity over time. Yet self-perception is motivated and serves survival and thus does not reflect stable inner states or accurate biographical a...
2 CitationsSource
#1Catherine Bortolon (UGA: University of Grenoble)H-Index: 5
#1Catherine BortolonH-Index: 12
Last. Stéphane RaffardH-Index: 26
view all 5 authors...
Abstract Grandiose delusions (GDs) are defined as false beliefs about having an inflated worth, power, or a special identity which are firmly sustained despite undeniable evidence to the contrary. Although it is the second most commonly encountered delusional beliefs, GDs have received little attention. Thus, in this study, we explored the role of future expectations and sensitivity to reward in GDs in schizophrenia (SZ) disorder. In total, 115 SZ patients completed measures of positive and nega...
2 CitationsSource
#1Jana Nikitin (University of Basel)H-Index: 11
#2Alexandra M. Freund (UZH: University of Zurich)H-Index: 54
Responsiveness to others (i.e., our understanding, validation, and support of important aspects of others) significantly contributes to positive social relationships. In the present research, we fo...
2 CitationsSource
#1Johannes BettinH-Index: 1
#2Meike WollniH-Index: 18
Last. Meike WollniH-Index: 1
view all 2 authors...
The relationship between income and environmental concern has only in some samples been found to mirror an Environmental Kuznets curve of pollution behavior by U-shaped preferences. Inconclusive aggregate findings may be due to the differential presence of mechanisms causing a linear relationship, or a psychological equivalent to tunneling maximum pollution. We enquire into determinants of such a mechanism previously unrelated to income-concern literature, which could arise from persistent influ...
6 CitationsSource
#1Constantine Sedikides (University of Southampton)H-Index: 109
#2Tim Wildschut (University of Southampton)H-Index: 53
Nostalgia—defined as sentimental longing for one's past—is a self-relevant, albeit deeply social, and an ambivalent, albeit more positive than negative, emotion. As nostalgia brings the past into p...
55 CitationsSource
#1Tian Huang (U of A: University of Alberta)H-Index: 1
#2Anna Farmer (U of A: University of Alberta)H-Index: 22
Last. Fatheema B. SubhanH-Index: 6
view all 5 authors...
The Malayalis Tribe, a Scheduled Tribe of the Kolli Hills in southern India, has experienced a decrease in the variety of foods consumed in the past 20 years. It is important to understand these changes in dietary patterns to inform future interventions to improve dietary diversity. This study aimed to investigate the perceived factors and experiences from participants belonging to different age groups and genders that have affected changes in dietary variety in the Kolli Hills over the past 20 ...
4 CitationsSource
#1Dawn M. Elfenbein (UCI: University of California, Irvine)H-Index: 13
Importance In the surgical community, there is concern that general surgery residents are choosing subspecialty training in large numbers because of a crisis in confidence at the end of training. Confidence is an essential quality of surgeons, and recent studies have attempted to quantify and measure it in graduating general surgery residents. Objectives To systematically review the quality of evidence provided and to critically analyze the language used to describe the findings using quantitati...
47 CitationsSource
#1Yu L. L. Luo (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 10
#2Yunzhi Liu (CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)H-Index: 6
Last. Constantine Sedikides (University of Southampton)H-Index: 109
view all 5 authors...
We addressed phenotypic and genetic research questions regarding nostalgia and self-enhancement. At the phenotypic level (178 university students; Study 1), we found that nostalgia was moderately associated with self-enhancement. At the genotypic level (232 twin pairs; Study 2), we found that nostalgia, self-enhancement, and their relation were largely heritable. Our findings shed light on two heavily investigated traits and open up exciting research directions.
35 CitationsSource
#1Heather Barry Kappes (LSE: London School of Economics and Political Science)H-Index: 12
#2Carey K. Morewedge (BU: Boston University)H-Index: 27
People spend a considerable amount of their time mentally simulating experiences other than the one in which they are presently engaged, as a means of distraction, coping, or preparation for the future. In this integrative review, we examine four (non-exhaustive) cases in which mentally simulating an experience serves a different function, as a substitute for the corresponding experience. In each case, mentally simulating an experience evokes similar cognitive, physiological, and/or behavioral c...
20 CitationsSource