Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Edward Roth

Second Advisor

Meghan Feeman


This thesis was based off of my experience as a research assistant in a study conducted by principle investigator Edward Roth and student investigator Alycia Sterenberg entitled “The determinants of affect, emotional arousal, and autobiographical memories on music-evoked nostalgia.” Roth and Sterenberg investigated the relationship between nostalgic music, autobiographical memories, and the physiological response of electrodermal activity (EDA). This was done by recruiting 30 college students between the ages of 18-28 to listen to music based off of five songs they listed as being nostalgic to them. They would then rate how familiar, nostalgic, and enjoyable each song was, in addition to discussing any memories associated with the song. EDA was collected during the listening portion to determine autonomic arousal throughout each song, and as a research assistant I was involved in flagging EDA for later analysis. The role of the present study was to determine commonalities in research involving music and psychophysiology. After conducting a literature review on psychophysiology, especially the physiological response of electrodermal activity, as it is seen in music research, some conclusions were made. Electrodermal activity, while easy to use and reliable, needs to be standardized so that the autonomic response of the body via skin conductance can be measured with better validity. In addition, the areas of perception and measured response need to continue to be researched. Music can elicit both psychological and physiological responses which is an important consideration in music therapy.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Music Therapy Commons