2/24: Aaron, Kristen F., Kimberly
3/10: Kristen G., Dahlia
4/7: Gordon, Emily M.
4/21: Eleanor, Aidan, Nicole, Rebecca
5/5: Emma, Natalie, Viviana
I'm curious about the nostalgia-prone personality: is the type of person who is likely to revisit happy memories also a type of person who is likely to form more happy memories, to experience life through rosier-tinted glasses, et cetera? And in this case, can we really say that revisiting happy memories helps this person become happier-- or is this revisitation merely one "symptom" of a happiness-oriented individual?
When I think of nostalgia I assume that the memory is distorted or tainted to be "happier" than the actual experience was. Although we have discussed that memories are not really distorted but rather continuously manipulated by our present situation, I wonder if nostalgic people are happier or in actuality are they simply better at coping/ spinning memories to their own advantage? Are they creating happier memories than the next person, or are they simply remembering their memories under the guise of an optimistic agenda? Can we train ourselves (our minds) to be happier, or simply think happier?
What makes a person more predisposed to bouts of nostalgia? And why has our society turned nostalgia into a negative thing? Nostalgia seems to have almost becomes associated with a kind of shame: the present does not fulfill expectations, so lingering the past fill suffice. What has perpetuated this concept, and how can we (as the article successfully does) help to debunk this misconception?
I am curious as to how they measured well-being and happiness in this study. Was it through a questionnaire, or behavior observation? And are there any brain-imaging studies associated with the study of happiness?
I wonder if the connection between nostalgia, good memories, 'unconditional positive regard' from the past, etc. are related to mental conditioning in the amygdala and other emotional processing pathways. Researchers have often made connections between fearful memories and conditioning of the amygdala. For example, you can potentially make a traumatic memory have less of a significant effect. It is retraining the neural pathways in the brain. Does nostalgic memory simply strengthen the neural pathways associated with emotionally happy memories and allow them to be stronger for the future?
It is somewhat refreshing to read an article that suggests ways to deal with depression that don't include anti-depressant drugs. On the other hand it's sad that people need to learn how to recall memories. I think nostalgia is an enjoyable feeling precisely because it is tinged with a bit of sadness for what is no longer there. It is precisely that sadness that indicates that the original experience was meaningful and enjoyable.
The nostalgia list reminds me of the practice of writing down affirmations. Self-help gurus swear by them, as spoken or written manifestations of positive thinking, thought to disseminate this positivity into one's life. I wonder when we'll start seeing the nostalgia list in Deepak Chopra's latest bestseller. This may be a bit hard to answer, but I wonder if the popular recommendations to avoid depression or perk up your life correspond to any of these scientific findings. Was there a previous study that found living in the "NOW" lead to a more productive life?
Is it just me, or does 20 minutes a day of being nostalgic seam like an awful lot of time to spend reminiscing? I personally consider myself to be a very nostalgic person. I enjoy reading old diary entries and frequently reminisce about the past, but 20 minutes a day? How can the researchers at Loyola quantitatively assess that people are happier than they were? Does anyone else feel like nostalgia can often be more bitter than sweet as clearly these happy memories are no longer part of your life? Doesn't the recollection of a happier time in your life only serve to underline how unlike those times your life currently is?