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Coping with uncertainties: Reacting against the past to affirm the cultural worldview

By J. van der Laan


According to uncertainty management theory, people try to cope with their uncertainties in the face of personal uncertainties by affirming their cultural worldview. Reflecting on the past may provide such affirmation by contrasting the past with the present. This leads to less positive perceptions of the past, but an affirmation of current the cultural worldview. The present research tests and supports this idea. Experiment 1 showed that reflecting on the past reduced the need for an alternative cultural worldview defense after uncertainty salience. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that evaluations of songs from the past and perceptions of subjective well-being in the past were less positive after reminders of personal uncertainty. Experiment 4 showed that a manipulation a contrast mindset had a similar effect on perceptions of the past as reminders of personal uncertainty

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, Temporal Comparisons Theory, Uncertainty Management Model, Nostalgia, Reflection on the past, downward comparison
Year: 2009
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