Everyone seems to think that everything was better back when they were doing it, and now everything is much worse. It's mostly not true, when it comes down to facts, yet people never say that things are better now then they where before (unless they come from poverty or were in a war), why?

PS I am generalizing when saying "everyone", I mean most people.

  • Is there any chance I might be able to persuade you to unpack your concern a bit further here? What might you be reading or studying that has made this an interesting or important issue? What might you have found out so far? What sort of answer might you be expecting? – Joseph Weissman Nov 29 '12 at 16:32
  • (Closing for the time being pending a little further development of the concern.) – Joseph Weissman Nov 30 '12 at 2:22

Baker and Kennedy list several causes. Among them:

  • The more drastic the change in a current life role, the more nostalgia, or symbolic reflection, will occur.
  • The more satisfied individuals are with their perceived quality of life in the past, the more nostalgia, or symbolic reflection will occur.
  • The more direct the experience, the more vivid the memories.

See the paper for a more full discussion.

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