5-HTTLPR polymorphism is associated with nostalgia proneness: The role of neuroticism

Yu L.L. Luo, Keith M. Welker, Baldwin Way, Nathan DeWall, Brad J. Bushman, Tim Wildschut, Constantine Sedikides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Nostalgia, a sentimental longing for the past, is a self-relevant and social emotion. Nostalgia proneness is associated with alleviation of distress or instability (e.g., neuroticism). Although nostalgia proneness is heritable, the specific molecular contributors to this heritability are unknown. We focused on a polymorphism in the promoter of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) as a possible biological basis of nostalgia proneness, because the serotonin system has been associated with sensitivity to negative experience. Participants (N = 397 adults) who had reported levels of nostalgia proneness were genotyped. A subsample also completed a measure of neuroticism. Participants with the 5-HTTLPR short allele were higher on nostalgia proneness than those without this allele. Neuroticism mediated the relation between 5-HTTLPR and nostalgia proneness. These findings enrich our understanding of the genetic and personality underpinnings of nostalgia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation [BCS1104118].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • 5-HTTLPR
  • Nostalgia
  • genetics
  • neuroticism
  • serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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