--Original published at Rachelsblog
Researchers,Wijnand A. P. van Tilburg , Constantine Sedikides, and Tim Wildschut asked a very critical and controversial question that psychologists have been exploring: Does weather affect nostalgia? Nostalgia is a feeling of missing the past or a loved one that one receives from many different factors. Researchers wanted to know if weather affected moods and brought back feelings from past experiences. Therefore, multiple experiments were conducted.
Four experiments were done to help answer the question. In the first study, 75 participants were recruited, 51 women 24 men. The participants were assigned to listen to different recordings of weather. The recordings included, thunder, wind, rain, and a control group which was an empty parking lot with no type of bad weather. The recordings were 2-minutes and after listening to them, the participants were then asked to record their feelings of nostalgia. The results showed that after the participants listened to all 4 recordings, they had feelings of nostalgia after hearing the thunder, wind, and rain. The conclusions were generalized to all the participants, which is fair because there was a mix of genders. If just one gender was used and the results were generalized to all of society, this would be false because the other gender was not tested.
In the second study, 133 undergraduates from the University of Southampton were used. 117 women and 16 men were used. The participants were all assigned to keep an online diary for 10 days about how the weather affected their feelings of nostalgia and distress. The results of this show that rain and wind had a higher perceived affection of nostalgia and distress to the participants, thunder was not that big of a factor. Once again, the conclusions were generalized to the correct population because both genders were used, so there was no bias towards one gender compared to another.
In study 3, 323 participants were used. 186 women and 137 men were used. The participants were split into two groups randomly. One group was to listen to either the control or wind recording again. While they listened to the recording they were asked to think of a past experience that brought them feelings of nostalgia. The other group was to listen to the recordings and their task was to count backwards from 350 in intervals of 7. The results showed that those who focused on an event that caused them nostalgia had more nostalgia after listening to the recording compared to prior to listening to them. The other group had less of an affect on their feelings of nostalgia because they were not focused on it. They were too busy trying to count backwards that they could not feel nostalgic and the weather did not affect them because they were not affected by it.
In the last study, 202 participants were used, 100 men and 100 women. The participants were randomly assigned to one of the four recordings in study 1 again. As they listened to them, they were asked questions about the recordings and social connectedness was then a factor that was included. The researchers asked what the feelings of nostalgia made them feel connected to, whether it be loved ones, friends, or a past time. Wind was perceived to give the most nostalgic feelings and social connectedness to the participants. Thunder evoked more nostalgia than the rain.
In conclusion, it was confirmed that for most people, at least the participants used, that weather did evoke feelings of nostalgia. All the experiments were related to each other and supported each other. The data supports that weather does affect feelings of nostalgia.
After reading through the pop culture and scholarly research article, I learned that when it comes to reading psychology articles, it is important to pick one that is very detailed and is able to be fully understood. In my summary, I made sure to include as much detail as I could so the reader could see where I answered the five critical questions. The five critical questions are to be addressed because if they aren’t, there could be confusion on what is going on in the experiment. It is important for the article to be detailed, but not too much detail that it confuses the reader. The scholarly article also used big psychological words that were confusing to me as a reader, so in that case, I made sure to not include them or only include them if they were hard to leave out. I had to leave out some parts of the article that were not important, like the charts of data provided. It would have made my article longer than the page limit. The charts also were hard to understand as a reader, and personally, confused me when I was reading it. I am better at reading the data written out than in numerical values in a chart. The article also included an abstract all about nostalgia, which was helpful but a little unnecessary. I included the definition of nostalgia because I thought that was important for readers to understand, but the extra information in the scholarly article, I left out. I feel as if the scholarly article included a lot of helpful data but a little too much at times and I was lost reading it at times. The pop culture article was straight and to the point, but did not answer the five critical questions, which is essential to the article.
I found a middle point of both articles. I left out some of the extra details of the scholarly article that were not needed, but added to the pop culture article by answering all five questions. We critique journalists for leaving some things out, but after typing this, I can see why they do that sometimes. As learned in class, it is important to be able to understand the experiment to the fullest and be able to answer the five critical questions. I included a small summary of the materials used, procedure, and results of the experiment so the reader had enough detail to understand the article but was not overwhelmed and confused.
“Adverse Weather Evokes Nostalgia.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 14 Mar. 2018, journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0146167218756030.
Haddock, Geoff. “Can Bad Weather Make Us Feel Nostalgic?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 7 Sept. 2018, http://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/attitude-check/201809/can-bad-weather-make-us-feel-nostalgic-0.