Pretty much everyone has a soft spot for particular pop songs from the past, however cheesy they may seem today. These tunes, which trigger positive memories and produce warm feelings, tend to be hits from our adolescence and early adulthood. You never forget what was playing when you enjoyed your first kiss.
But here’s a surprise: We respond with similar pleasure to the much older songs that served as background music to our parents’ first kiss. And possibly their parents’ as well.
Newly published research suggests musical nostalgia is a multigenerational phenomenon. It seems the songs we love aren’t just the ones we discovered, but also the ones our parents enjoyed, and presumably played in the home.
So if you think ‘80s music is great and ‘90s music is crap, that may simply reflect the year of your birth, and your parents’ birth. (Sixties pop may be its own special case, as we’ll explore shortly.)
In the journal Psychological Science, Cornell University psychologist Carol Lynne Krumhansl and Justin Adam Zupnick of the University of California-Santa Cruz describe a study featuring 62 young adults (average age 20).
Read the whole story: Pacific Standard