EARS Student Group

Music and Affect

Music-Evoked Nostalgia: Affect, Behavior, and Memory 


EARS Research Group


This research project is a collaboration between EARS and Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS) in Morelia, Mexico, and awarded a collaborative grant UC MEXUS-CONACYT.

CMMAS —Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras

Nostalgia, typically understood as sentimentality for our valued past, is a prevalent and fundamental human experience, often triggered by various keepsakes and sensory cues, including music. Hearing music associated with our past often evokes powerful emotions and transport us back in time. This research project aims to explore music-evoked nostalgia in three different aspects: affect, prosocial behavior, and music-evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs). Beginning in January 2020, 140 undergraduate students at UCR, along with 100 students in ENES Morelia, The National Autonomous University of Mexico, voluntarily took part in a one-on-one experiment. See the figure below for the experiment design. The experiment was originally carried in-person at EARS and 55 students participated in it; however, with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was transformed into an online experiment and resumed in August 2020. Additional 85 UCR students and all students in Mexico completed the online version and data collection has been completed in February 2021. 




Data are being analyzed, specifically focusing on three main questions:

1.Does music-evoked nostalgia promote prosocial behavior, looking through participants’ donation behavior? 
2.Is music-evoked nostalgia associated with positive or negative affect? 
3.What do people recall when listening to nostalgic music? 

Under a lead of Dr. Eun Cho, our research team is analyzing data collaboratively. Currently, the research team meeting takes place every Tuesday. 

EARS Research Team

Dr. Eun Cho, Visiting Scholar, EARS at UCR  
Dr. Yooji Hwang, (add affiliation info)
Owain Graham, PhD candidate, Ethnomusicology, UCR
Eric Barreto, PhD student, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil (UFBA)
Genesis Garza Morales, undergraduate student, Psychology, UCR


Conference Presentations

Cho, E., & Duarte-García, M. A., Sigal-Sefchovich, J. R., & Chagas, P. C. (under review). Music-evoked nostalgia and prosocial behavior: A cross-sectional study in the United States and Mexico. International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition
Cho, E., Chagas, P. C., & Graham, O. J. (under review). Music-evoked autobiographical memories and nostalgia: A study of a young adult cohort. International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition.
Cho, E., Chagas, P. C., & Morales, G. G. (under review). Music-evoked autobiographical memories of a young cohort: What can they tell music educators? Asia-Pacific Symposium for Music Education Research. 
Cho, E., & Chagas, P. C. (September 23–25, 2020). Music-evoked nostalgia and prosocial behavior. Affect, Personality, and Embodied Brain 2020 Conference. https://apenetwork.wordpress.com/ape-2020-conference/


“Som, Espaço e Afeto: Conferência.” Paulo C. Chagas reads the paper.