The State, Not the Trait, of Nostalgia Increases Creativity

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

6 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317 - 323
Journal / PublicationCreativity Research Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


Nostalgic experience evokes emotions and activates the cognitive process of recalling and reconstructing information in memory. This study investigated the effects of nostalgia on creativity using experiments and questionnaires. Two-hundred-and-eighty university students were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups, in which participants received and completed different writing tasks (nostalgic experience vs. common life experience). They also responded to questionnaires measuring personality, nostalgia proneness, and creativity. Results showed that participants who were primed with nostalgic experience demonstrated higher creativity than the control group. In both groups, women demonstrated higher creativity than men. When specific aspects of the nostalgic experience were used to predict creativity, results showed that: (a) nostalgia triggered by social interaction and negative affect was positively related to creativity; (b) nostalgic experience containing tangibles positively predicted creativity; (c) the total number of triggers and the amount of, but not the positivity or salience of self in, nostalgia narrative contributed positively to creativity; and (d) higher agreeableness and openness, but not nostalgia proneness or other personality traits, were associated with higher creativity. Implications for both research and practice are discussed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.