Influence of nostalgic behavior on the consumption patterns of adults: analysis of purchase intentions and social motivations
Sotelo Duarte, Manuel
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Nostalgia integrates bitter-sweet emotions experimented over stimuli that reconnect present time to past events. The past events retrieved by nostalgia are individuals’ autobiographic memories. Memories are retrieved in a gradual process. However, memories with highly emotional significance would be easily retrieved. Nostalgic memories commonly bring back events with social groups such as family, and friends. Once nostalgia is experienced, it would have effects on consumption behavior, increasing the probability of buying a nostalgic product. Although the process leading to nostalgia, and its effects, have been described by previous literature, the social impact of nostalgic behavior has not been analyzed. Understanding the effects of social interaction along the nostalgic process is necessary to comprehend its full effect on nostalgic behavior. Mix-method research was used to obtain qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative research used two different gathering techniques: netnography and in-depth interviews. For quantitative research, an online survey research instrument was developed. Data were analyzed by using SPSS software to validate the hypotheses established for this research. Additionally, AMOS software was used to develop a structural equation model (SEM) to analyze the items of the questionnaire, the constructs developed, and their interactions. The main contribution of this research is the analysis of social connection on nostalgia formation and consumption. Nostalgic emotions are triggered by a stimulus that detonates one or several memories. Usually, memories retrieved involve social interaction that makes them highly emotionally valued by individuals. Memories retrieved mainly generate a positive nostalgic reaction. The nostalgic reaction generated begins a synchronization process between an individual’s self-image and social expectations. If congruence is achieved, an individual may act upon nostalgia by consuming products for his/herself or purchasing something for someone else to develop a stronger connection through nostalgia. This research identifies the role of social groups and context on nostalgia: helping nostalgic memory formation and retrieval, taking part in the synchronization process to allow consumption, and are experienced in purchasing products/brands for someone else.