Teen Bops

The Bee Gee’s? OMG! That really takes me back!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Which tunes are in YOUR personal Top Ten? Whether we heard it on an 8-track, CD player, or I-phone, music is EVERYTHING in our teens! But WHY does the music of our youth stick with us?

Enter Kelly Jakubowski from Durham University and colleagues.

The team recruited almost five hundred participants between eighteen and eighty-two years old. Volunteers answered a questionnaire containing songs from 1950 to 2015. They rated the strength of memories attached to the songs from one to ten. They also rated their familiarity with each song.

Results? ALL age groups were most familiar with music from their early teens – peaking at age fourteen. They ALSO associated more MEMORIES with the tunes.

This is called a “reminiscence bump” – and it lasts from our teens up to our thirties.

Jakubowski thinks that biological and hormonal changes boost our memories. Throwback tunes from our teens trigger nostalgia overload!

SO, play that funky music, loud and proud! Get jiggy with it–or whatever the kids said back in your day!

Reference: Jakubowski, K., Eerola, T., Tillmann, B., Perrin, F., & Heine, L. (2020). A Cross-Sectional Study of Reminiscence Bumps for Music-Related Memories in Adulthood. Music & Science, 3, 205920432096505. https://doi.org/10.1177/2059204320965058