Sunday, July 14, 2013


By: John Tierney
Published: The New York Times, July 8, 2013;
Level of Difficulty: **
·         What is nostalgia?
·         Is it good for you or not?
·         How do you feel when you think back on past memories? Why?


Exploring Positive Effects of Nostalgia

Study: Nostalgia Helps Keep People Warm

1.       His fellow doctor labeled Sedikides’ nostalgia for his old home as a sign of depression because ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
2.       Doctor Sedikides associated the nostalgia he felt with
·         Pleasant feelings
·         Security
·         Continuity
·         Confidence
·         All of the above
·         None of the above
·         Other: please specify
3.       The advantages of nostalgia according to experts are that it increases
·         Empathy
·         Sympathy
·         Stress
·         All of the above
·         None of the above
·         Other: please specify
4.       Why is Odysseus considered a nostalgist?
5.       Read the words of Doctor Wildschut carefully. What conclusion can we draw from it? You will have to tweak the text.
6.       Did the Southampton study prove or disprove the reports that had been made to researchers concerning waxing nostalgic? Support your answer.
7.       Why exactly does nostalgia bring people closer and make them more giving?
8.       What surprising effect did music have in the Netherlands experiment?
9.       What is the view that nostalgia may have had survival value based on?
10.   What does the writer mean by the words “this sense of loss”?
11.   Read the North Dakota State University experiments. What positive effect did nostalgia have on the subjects?
12.   In the same experiments, why did the reading of the depressing essay have the effect it did?
13.   What overall conclusion can we draw from the North Dakota experiments? Be brief.
14.   Nostalgia seems to be more common during certain periods in one’s life. Why is this so?
15.   What is the advantage of anticipatory nostalgia?
16.   What do the words “This comparison free nostalgizing” refer to?
17.   What does “It” refer to in the sentence “It is  our diamond”
Write an essay discussing the advantages of engaging in nostalgia. Use the information in the text and your own experience.
The advantages in the text are as follows:
·         Counteracting loneliness, boredom, anxiety
·         Being generous to strangers
·         Being tolerant to outsiders
·         Making couples happier
·         Providing roots and continuity
·         Providing texture and the strength to move on
·         Making life meaningful
·         Making death less frightening
·         Providing more optimism
This is literally one of the most heartwarming and positive texts I have come across in a long time.  The fact that it lends itself to questions and a writing task is an added bonus. The discussion at the beginning should be interesting too with students discussing all the lovely old memories.
1.       Because nostalgia had been considered a disorder ever since the term was coined by a 17th century Swiss physician. Why else live in the past won’t do; it begs explanation.
2.       All of the above
3.       Other: 1 and 2
4.       Because he used memories of his family and home to get through hard times
5.       Nostalgia is found to be common around the world
6.       It proved the report. The people depressed about the disaster victims or worried about being lonely become more likely to wax nostalgic and the strategy worked.
7.       Because although nostalgic stories often start badly, with some kind of problem, they tend to end well thanks to help from someone close to them
8.       It made them feel warmer
9.       A memory that maintains physical comfort could contribute to survival by making you look for food and shelter that much longer
10.   Self discontinuity
11.   They felt loved and that life is worth living
12.   To ward off Sartrean despair. Jean Paul Sartre was a French writer and thinker.
13.   Nostalgia serves a crucial existential function
14.   Nostalgia helps us deal with transition
15.   When one needs a psychological lift or some extra motivation
16.   Focusing on the past in an existential way ( minimum)

17.   Paris

No comments:

Post a Comment