Nostalgia is a complex cognitive and affective experience and has been described by some as a "social emotion" (Goulding, 2002; Merchant & Rose, 2013; Wildschut et al., 2006). Through nostalgic media experiences, people can develop connections to prior eras or periods in society which are accompanied by a range of emotions and feelings. Perceptions of the past are influenced by experiences in the present. Because of this, it is possible that people's perceptions of their current political climates and society play a role in how they seek and react to media experiences, including nostalgic media experiences. Considering how the political climate is interwoven in our everyday lives, it is valuable to investigate how sociopolitical experiences might influence the motivations to seek nostalgic media experience and the outcomes of this media experience. The purpose of this study is to explore how different affective states related to appraisals of the present sociopolitical atmosphere might influence an individual's media choice, particularly the exposure to historical nostalgic media content versus non-nostalgic media options and how it affects an individual's affective state, bittersweet emotions, media enjoyment and social connectedness. The results revealed that a significant relationship exists between nostalgia proneness and historical nostalgia media interest, yet there was not a significant positive relationship between negative affect and historical nostalgia media interest. The results also demonstrated that the bittersweet emotion and media enjoyment responses of those who were in a negative affective state and then exposed to historical nostalgic media content were significant compared to those exposed to non-nostalgic media options.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication and Media
Communication; Mass Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Rosenthal, Samantha, "The Good Ol' Days: How Sociopolitical Climate Influences Motivations to Seek Historical Nostalgic Media Experiences Versus Non-nostalgic Media Experiences and the Outcomes of Those Experiences" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 408.