Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Nostalgia is shown to relieve an individual's perception of pain evoked by cold water, pressure, and thermal stimuli. However, there is no direct evidence to show the analgesic effects of different nostalgia-inducing methods on various stimulus intensities. We conducted two studies to examine the analgesic effect, at different pain intensities, after inducing nostalgia either idiographically or nomothetically. Study 1 (N = 118) induced nostalgia through an idiographic approach (i.e., event reflection task) and found that nostalgia relieved both high and low thermal pain. Study 2 (N = 66) induced nostalgia through a nomothetic approach (i.e., viewing nostalgic pictures) and found that nostalgia relieved low but not high thermal pain. The findings verify the analgesic effect of nostalgia on thermal pain and suggest the potential moderating role of the nostalgia induction approach and pain intensity. Practically, these findings have implications for using nostalgia as a nonpharmacological treatment for pain.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann N Y Acad Sci

Publication Date





167 - 175


analgesia, idiographic nostalgia, nomothetic nostalgia, pain, Humans, Pain, Analgesics