The Emotional Impact of 4th May Commemoration in the Netherlands
Corella Gonzalez, P.
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Commemorations and social rituals are a common practice among humans after war and disaster with the purpose of helping in the process of mourning and healing. However, the actual impact of this practice on the individual and society remains unclear. We analysed the emotional impact of the Dutch commemoration of World War II (WWII) victims on first and third generation since WWII. Participants visualised a short summary of last year’s commemoration and rated their emotions before and after the clip. It was expected that both groups would experience an increase in negative emotions and a decline in positive emotions. It was also hypothesised that this change in emotion would be stronger in the first generation, due to their proximity to the war. Furthermore, we analysed the influence, if any, of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and personal memories about the war on the increase in negative emotion. The results confirmed the expected impact of commemoration in both samples but no significant differences between them. Contrary to what was expected, PTSD symptoms and personal memories showed no predictive power for the increase in negative emotions.