Favourite pop songs are most likely to be those which were in charts when you ...

Our favourite song is from when we were 14, study finds, as scientists reveal 'reminiscence bump' peaks in early adolescence Age 14 is when we make strongest musical connection, researchers discovered It is because records playing on radio get entwined with major teen life events  Songs bring memories flooding back in what's known as 'reminiscence bump' 

By Michael Powell and Brendan Carlin, Political Correspondent For The Mail On Sunday

Published: 22:27 GMT, 2 January 2021 | Updated: 22:28 GMT, 2 January 2021


Your favourite pop songs are most likely to be the ones in the charts when you were 14, a study has found.

Researchers discovered this is the age we make the strongest musical connection because the records playing on the radio get entwined with major life events in our formative teenage years.

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The songs bring vivid memories flooding back in what is known as a 'reminiscence bump' – which scientists suggest could play a key role in caring for dementia patients.

Academics from Durham University assembled 470 people aged between 18 and 82 and asked them to rate 111 songs in the charts between 1950 and 2015.

Your favourite pop songs are most likely to be the ones in the charts when you were 14, a study has found

They were then asked whether they were familiar with each song, whether they liked it and whether it brought back any memories from their past.

The study, published in the Music & Science journal, found 'a reminiscence bump in adolescence (peaking around age 14) for both ratings of the autobiographical salience of songs featured in the charts during that period and the familiarity of these songs'.

The researchers said: 'This suggests that memories that are central to one's sense of identity are often inextricably associated with music.

'This may be related... to the common tradition of coupling music with significant life events and the increased consumption and value placed on music during key periods of identity formation in adolescence.'

Memories from that period also tend to be 'recalled more accurately, more vividly, and rated as more important'.

The study added: 'It is also a time containing many memories of novel experiences, which may be encoded more deeply and rehearsed more frequently, and... biological and hormonal changes... may be involved too.

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'Older adults prefer,

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