Why we love music from our childhood

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

old record
A vinyl record.

Have you ever walked into a shopping center and heard familiar music from the 80s and 90s? Sure, it might’ve been hard to remember the exact name of the song and artist, but the tune definitely felt familiar. In fact, it may have caused you to reminisce – think back on the past – about the good old days when you first heard the melody!

In a phenomenon known as a “reminiscence bump,” people are able to recall their childhood memories more vividly than recent events. Well, according to psychologists from Cornell University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, this is why we enjoy music from when we were really young!

The researchers recruited 62 college-aged volunteers and played the top Billboard tunes from 1955-2009. As participants jammed out to the music, researchers asked them what they were feeling and remembering during the songs. If the tunes were modern and popular, the listeners recalled a lot of recent memories, but didn’t necessarily experience any strong feelings. However, when they were hearing music that was popular during their childhood, the participants felt much stronger emotional attachments! It’s as if the oldies really hooked their hearts more than the latest melodies on the radio.

Featured image courtesy of K. G. Photos on Flickr. Image of record courtesy of Bygone on Wikipedia.