Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Edward A, Roth, M.M.

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Fiore

Third Advisor

David Colson, D.M.A.


Nostalgia, music, affect, autobiographical memory, emotional arousal

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this study is to further explore both person – level and context – level constructs established by Barrett et al. (2010) in relation to music-evoked nostalgia. This study also measures the strength of the relationship between self-reported arousal levels and electrodermal activity (EDA) as well as if they are good predictors of nostalgia. Methods include listening to personalized playlists to elicit feelings of nostalgia while electrodermal activity collects changes in arousal. Participants then answer questions of song familiarity, pleasure, arousal, and autobiographical salience to gather context – level constructs. Results indicate that both person – level and context – level constructs attribute to levels of nostalgia. The two strongest predictors of nostalgia include negative mood state (person – level construct) and autobiographical salience (context – level construct). Mean skin conductance level (SCL) did not correlate with self-reports of arousal. Therefore, this study supports the hypothesis that person – level and context – level constructs influence levels of nostalgia experienced; however, this study is not able to support the hypothesis that levels of EDA correlate with self-reports of arousal. Future research should continue to explore the use of arousal in relation to nostalgia.

Included in

Music Commons