Nostalgia EffectOpen Access

Nostalgia Effect

Thinking about the past makes us want to spend more now

Recent research suggests that reminiscing about the past weakens our desire to hold on to money, instead fostering social connectedness.

Lasaleta, J. D., Sedikides, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2014). Nostalgia weakens the desire for money. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(3), 713-729.

The study

Setup

Setup

129 people were split into 2 groups, with half asked to either write about a time when they felt nostalgic or a neutral event. After writing, everyone was given $5 to distribute between themselves and a random other.

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Results

Results

The results showed that on average, neutrals only gave away $1.43, whereas nostalgics gave $2.

Study graph
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Lasaleta, J. D., Sedikides, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2014). Nostalgia weakens the desire for money. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(3), 713-729.

Key Takeaways

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Understand what nostalgia means for your target audience. Brands, products and campaign messaging can all gain from referring to the past to loosen our wallets. Nintendo are now rereleasing their 1985 NES console, for example.

Takeaway image
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Use to promote social behaviour. Since nostalgia causes a reduction in one’s desire for money,  it can instead be used to increase charitable donations or promote participation in a charitable event. 

Takeaway image
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Digital nostalgia is growing, as our online history of archived experiences deepens. The opportunity to capitalize upon this powerful effect will only increase. e.g. Facebook is now reminding us of our past experiences, using nostalgia to keep us emotionally bound to their network.

Takeaway image
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Takeaway image
Takeaway image
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In further detail

Takeaway image
Nostalgia Effect

Nostalgia Effect

Thinking about the past makes us want to spend more now

Recent research suggests that reminiscing about the past weakens our desire to hold on to money, instead fostering social connectedness.

The study

Setup

129 people were split into 2 groups, with half asked to either write about a time when they felt nostalgic or a neutral event. After writing, everyone was given $5 to distribute between themselves and a random other.

Results

The results showed that on average, neutrals only gave away $1.43, whereas nostalgics gave $2.

study graph
np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

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Nuggets

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Open access, foundational Nuggets

Scarcity

Scarcity

We value things more when they’re in limited supply

Social Proof

Social Proof

We copy the behaviors of others, especially in unfamiliar situations

Prospect Theory

Prospect Theory

A loss hurts more than an equal gain feels good

Reciprocity

Reciprocity

We’re hardwired to return kindness received

Framing

Framing

We make very different decisions based on how a fact is presented

Loss Aversion

Loss Aversion

We feel more negative when losing something than positive when we gain it

Self-Expression

Self-Expression

We constantly seek out ways to communicate our identity to others

Default Effect

Default Effect

We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

Priming

Priming

Our decisions are shaped by memories recalled from things just seen or heard

Anchoring

Anchoring

What we see first affects our judgement of everything thereafter

Autonomy Bias

Autonomy Bias

We have a deep-seated need to control our situations

Fast & Slow Thinking

Fast & Slow Thinking

We make knee-jerk spontaneous decisions that can cause regretful damage

Status Quo Bias

Status Quo Bias

We tend to stick with our previous choices, even if the alternatives might be better

Dynamic Norms

Dynamic Norms

We’re more likely to change if we can see a new behavior developing

Salience

Salience

Our choices are determined by the information we're shown

Connected to

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