Both reminiscence and nostalgia refer to thinking about the past, but where is the line between them?

I am looking into how reminiscence affects meaning in life and have found that most research focuses on nostalgia. I am trying to figure out what the difference is. I thought that reminiscence refers to thinking about and recalling the past (for a variety of reasons), and that nostalgia is the feelings of longing that arise as a result of reminiscence. However I am struggling to find a distinction in the literature.

If anyone has a good definition/ can point me to where might clarify this I'd be very grateful!

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. We work differently to most SE sites, where we have a strict policy that all questions should show evidence of prior research. Please help us to help you with a useful answer and edit your question to provide more information on what you have read on this subject. You said "I am struggling to find a distinction in the literature" and "most research focuses on nostalgia". What research and literature have you read? Can you please provide details? Have you Googled "reminisce vs nostalgia" to see what comes up? $\endgroup$ Jan 20 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, to add on to Chris's comment I think you need to demonstrate the use of these terms in the literature and the reasoning for them being used differently. Otherwise, you only need a dictionary, and this site isn't an appropriate substitute for a dictionary. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Jan 20 at 15:11


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