Samir’s Selection 07/09/2013 (p.m.)
Map: Which country pays the most bribes? | BBC News
What Is Nostalgia Good For? Quite a Bit, Research Shows – NYTimes.com
Nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety. It makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders. Couples feel closer and look happier when they’re sharing nostalgic memories. On cold days, or in cold rooms, people use nostalgia to literally feel warmer.
Nostalgia does have its painful side – it’s a bittersweet emotion – but the net effect is to make life seem more meaningful and death less frightening. When people speak wistfully of the past, they typically become more optimistic and inspired about the future…
But when Dr. Sedikides, Tim Wildschut and other psychologists at Southampton began studying nostalgia, they found it to be common around the world, including in children as young as 7 (who look back fondly on birthdays and vacations).
“The defining features of nostalgia in England are also the defining features in Africa and South America,” Dr. Wildschut says. The topics are universal – reminiscences about friends and family members, holidays, weddings, songs, sunsets, lakes. The stories tend to feature the self as the protagonist surrounded by close friends.
Most people report experiencing nostalgia at least once a week, and nearly half experience it three or four times a week. These reported bouts are often touched off by negative events and feelings of loneliness, but people say the “nostalgizing” – researchers distinguish it from reminiscing – helps them feel better…
… a problem that psychologists call self-discontinuity, which is nicely defined in “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” by Stephen Stills: “Don’t let the past remind us of what we are not now.” This sense of loss and dislocation has repeatedly been linked to both physical and mental ills…
In fact, people tend to have a healthier sense of self-continuity if they nostalgize more frequently, as measured on the scale developed at Southampton.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.