What kind of people are prone to nostalgia?

Participants listened to randomly selected excerpts of popular music and rated how nostalgic each song made them feel. Nostalgia was stronger to the extent that a song was autobiographically salient, arousing, familiar, and elicited a greater number of positive, negative, and mixed emotions. These effects were moderated by individual differences (nostalgia proneness, mood state, dimensions of the Affective Neurosciences Personality Scale, and factors of the Big Five Inventory). Nostalgia proneness predicted stronger nostalgic experiences, even after controlling for other individual difference measures. Nostalgia proneness was predicted by the Sadness dimension of the Affective Neurosciences Personality Scale and Neuroticism of the Big Five Inventory. Nostalgia was associated with both joy and sadness, whereas nonnostalgic and nonautobiographical experiences were associated with irritation.

Source: “Music-evoked nostalgia: Affect, memory, and personality.” from Emotion, Vol 10(3), Jun 2010, 390-403.

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