The pushes and pulls of the past: The effects of attachment-related avoidance and nostalgia on approach-oriented social goals

Andrew A. Abeyta, Taylor A. Nelson, Clay Routledge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nostalgia, a mostly positive emotional experience that involves revisiting cherished memories/experiences, instigates the pursuit of approach-oriented social goals of affiliation and growth. Attachment-related avoidance describes the extent to which people do not rely on relationships for psychological comfort and avoid interpersonal closeness. The purpose of the present research was to determine if individual differences in attachment-related avoidance moderate nostalgia's capacity to energize social pursuits. Across 2 studies nostalgia increased approach-oriented social intentions/goals at lower levels of attachment-related avoidance, but not at higher levels. Among those higher in attachment-related avoidance, nostalgia was found to decrease intentions to connect with others. These studies suggest that while nostalgia typically energizes adaptive interpersonal pursuits, it can drive people with a history of interpersonal avoidance further from interpersonal relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-208
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume149
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Goals
  • Motivation
  • Nostalgia
  • Social approach

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