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Re-experiences Considered Better

by Nancy Needhima on February 21, 2012 at 9:11 PM
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Re-experiences Considered Better

Folks re-reading books, watching movies over and over or visit places again, because repeating experiences satiate their nostalgia.

"Even though people are already familiar with the stories or the places, re-consuming brings renewed appreciation of both the object of consumption and their self," write co-authors Cristel Antonia Russell of American University and Sidney J. Levy of the University of Arizona and the Northwestern University.

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Through in-depth interviews with participants in the US and New Zealand, the authors found an array of underlying reasons for re-consumption, the Journal of Consumer Research reports.

Generally, people do it to enrich their emotional lives and increase self-knowledge, according to an Arizona and American University statement.
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"The re-experience allows them not only to refresh their memory of the past experience but also helps in discovery of new details. Therefore, the experience is different, even though it is repeated," the authors explain.

Previous research has focused on the kinds of repeat experiences that are habitual, addictive, or ritualistic and not experiences that people actively and consciously choose to repeat. In their study, the authors found a variety of motivations for re-consumption.

Some participants desired to return to a former state and wanted to affirm - or sometimes invalidate - the impression left by previous experiences. Others wanted to refresh or reconstruct the memory, and some wanted to share the experience with new people.

"Given the immense benefits for growth and self-reflexivity, re-consuming actually appears to offer many mental health benefits," the authors write.

Source: IANS
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