Keynote 1: Constantine Sedikides, The Existential Gravitas of Nostalgia

The conference began with a keynote by CONSTANTINE SEDIKIDES, Professor of Psychology at Southampton University, on “The Existential Gravitas of Nostalgia”. SEDIKIDES began his talk by recounting, why he had started to research nostalgia. It was the overwhelmingly negative attitude towards nostalgia in psychology that had piqued his interest. Through experiments he and his fellow researchers were able to show that nostalgia, instead of being a disadvantage, has overall positive effects. In a world, in which our sense of meaning is constantly threatened, nostalgia provides a natural defense against threat, a sense of sociability and decreases our mortality awareness. As a meaning-making machine it increases our perception of meaning. These findings have been published in a number of articles, one of which can be found here.

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