A Prologue to Nostalgia: Savoring Creates Nostalgic Memories that Foster Optimism

Marios Biskas, Wing Yee Cheung, Jacob Juhl, Constantine Sedikides, Tim Wildschut, Erica G. Hepper

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How are nostalgic memories created? We considered savoring as one process involved in the genesis of nostalgia. Whereas nostalgia refers to an emotional reflection upon past experiences, savoring is a process in which individuals deeply attend to and consciously capture a present experience for subsequent reflection. Thus, having savored an experience may increase the likelihood that it will later be reflected upon nostalgically. Additionally, to examine how cognitive and emotional processes are linked across time, we tested whether nostalgia for a previously savored experience predicts optimism for the future. Retrospective reports of having savored a positive event were associated with greater nostalgia for the event (Study 1). Retrospective reports of savoring a time period (college) were associated with greater nostalgia for that time period when participants were in a setting (alumni reunion event) that prompted thoughts of the time period (Study 2). Savoring an experience predicted nostalgia for the experience 4-9 months later (Study 3). Additionally, nostalgia was associated with greater optimism (Studies 2-3). Thus, savoring provides a foundation for nostalgic memories and an ensuing optimism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number000
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2018


  • Nostalgia, savouring, optimism, memory

Cite this

Biskas, M., Cheung, W. Y., Juhl, J., Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., & Hepper, E. G. (2018). A Prologue to Nostalgia: Savoring Creates Nostalgic Memories that Foster Optimism. Cognition and Emotion, 00(000). https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2018.1458705