Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Megan Johnston 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

I am a student of the BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology, IADT. I have a keen interest in developmental and cognitive psychology and hope to become a clinical psychologist in the future. Following on from my studies, I hope to gain experience working with children and young adults in care. My goal is to become highly involved with organisations that aid in the development of children and do my best to make an impact. The title of my research project is 'The Impact of Age-Related Nostalgic Music on Nostalgia, Life Satisfaction and Memory Recall'.

An Investigation into the Impact of Age-Related Nostalgic Music on Nostalgia, Life Satisfaction and Memory Recall

It has been shown that music is used as a functional tool in emotional control and social connectedness. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for tools of comfort has increased immensely. This project aimed to generate autobiographical memories from a particular point in one's life with music and analyse the impact this can have on their life satisfaction. Due to the reminiscent nature of this study, it was also necessary to assess the nostalgic affects and memory recall. The effects of all three components were compared between two different age groups.

Project Objectives

This study aimed to investigate the affects of age-related nostalgic music on nostalgia, life satisfaction and memory recall. There were 46 participants between the ages of 18 and 48, originally divided into three equidistant age groups. This had to be amended following the data collection due to a lack of participants. The participants self-selected music from a provided playlist based on their recorded age. The playlists consisted of the Billboard Chart Hits from the 90's, 00's and 2010's respectively. The Satisfaction with Life Scale was completed before and after listening to the playlist for thirty minutes. Nostalgia and memory recall were both measured post listening experience by the Personal Inventory of Nostalgia and the Memory Experience Questionnaire.

Project Outcomes

The results of this study found that age-related nostalgic music had no significant impact on nostalgia, life satisfaction or memory recall. The statistical analysis may not have withstood the violation as there was an insufficient size in participant numbers, (Owen & Froman, 1998). Despite findings from the present study, the potential for the use of nostalgic music in mood improvement and the recollection of memories remains fortified in literature. Where the current study lacked in participants and supported hypotheses, future research can improve on research findings by possibly employing a more longitudinal approach or tailoring the music to the specific interests of the participants.