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
np_read_2490885_000000

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
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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A loss hurts more than an equal gain feels good

Reciprocity

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Framing

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

Loss Aversion

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Anchoring

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What we see first affects our judgement of everything thereafter

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Dynamic Norms

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