Music-Evoked Nostalgia: Affect, Memory, and Personality

Frederick S. Barrett, Kevin J. Grimm, Richard W. Robins, Tim Wildschut, Constantine Sedikides, Petr Janata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

333 Scopus citations


Participants listened to randomly selected excerpts of popular music and rated how nostalgic each song made them feel. Nostalgia was stronger to the extent that a song was autobiographically salient, arousing, familiar, and elicited a greater number of positive, negative, and mixed emotions. These effects were moderated by individual differences (nostalgia proneness, mood state, dimensions of the Affective Neurosciences Personality Scale, and factors of the Big Five Inventory). Nostalgia proneness predicted stronger nostalgic experiences, even after controlling for other individual difference measures. Nostalgia proneness was predicted by the Sadness dimension of the Affective Neurosciences Personality Scale and Neuroticism of the Big Five Inventory. Nostalgia was associated with both joy and sadness, whereas nonnostalgic and nonautobiographical experiences were associated with irritation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-403
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective Neurosciences Personality Scale
  • Big Five Inventory
  • autobiographical memory
  • mixed emotions
  • popular music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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