Research on the theoretical order causally linking heroism to social connectedness and inspiration does not exist to our knowledge (Allison & Green, 2020). We propose that nostalgia is a source of heroism because of the social nature of nostalgic memories. We designed two studies, one correlational and one experimental, to test how nostalgia relates to pursuit of an important goal, through increasing social connectedness, heroic perceptions, and inspiration. Online participants completed an ordinary writing task (Study 1) or were randomly assigned to either a nostalgic or ordinary writing task (Study 2), followed by measures of social connectedness, heroic perceptions, inspiration, and goal pursuit. Nostalgia significantly predicted goal pursuit via social connectedness, heroic perceptions, and inspiration. Theoretical, empirical, and practical implications for future work are discussed. We expanded upon the prosocial function of nostalgia by incorporating heroism into our full sequence. Therefore, we strengthened support for the motivational consequences of nostalgia that can be applied to goal setting and goal pursuit behaviors.
Kneuer, Margaret A.; Green, Jeffrey D.; and Allison, Scott T.
"In Pursuit of Important Goals: Nostalgia Fosters Heroic Perceptions via Social Connectedness,"
Heroism Science: Vol. 7:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/heroism-science/vol7/iss1/3