Nostalgia for America's past can buffer collective guilt

Matthew Baldwin, Mark H. White, Daniel Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This research examined when, and for whom, American collective nostalgia can relieve feelings of collective guilt. In the Pilot Study, path analyses revealed that national glorification is associated with collective nostalgia, and collective nostalgia is associated with lower collective guilt. Our experimental studies test the role of these variables in determining responses to the elevated salience of past ingroup harm doing. Collective nostalgia was associated with lower collective guilt especially after reminders of America's harm doing in Study 1. In Study 2 we predicted and showed that reminders of American harm doing would evoke spontaneous collective nostalgia for participants high in national glorification. The remaining studies tested the hypothesis that collective nostalgia serves to buffer collective guilt. Collective guilt was lower after reminders of past harm doing for participants who engaged in collective nostalgia (Study 3), and this was especially pronounced for participants high in national glorification (Study 4).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-446
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • collective guilt
  • collective nostalgia
  • group processes
  • intergroup relations
  • national identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Nostalgia for America's past can buffer collective guilt'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this