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Keywords:

  • nostalgia;
  • preferences;
  • availability;
  • judgment and decision making;
  • memory

ABSTRACT

Nostalgic preferences are widespread—people believe past movies, music, television shows, places, and periods of life to have been better than their present counterparts. Three experiments explored the cognitive underpinnings of nostalgic preferences. Participants rated past experiences to have been superior to similar present and recent experiences. These nostalgic preferences appeared to be due to the belief that the atypically positive experiences that participants recalled at the time of judgment were more representative of their past experiences than of their present experiences. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.