Most of what I’ve read so far aligns with the findings from my prototyping research. The content below also sheds some light on how these memories are captured and retrieved.
How to bring about nostalgia (via Psychology Today):
The following discusses why memories from our early adulthood are more powerful than others (via Pyschology Today).
Though the word nostalgia may evoke childhood memories of Grandma’s baking, the studies found that, on average, people are most attached to memories from their early adulthood. Why does the critical period occur during one’s early 20s? Timothy Burke, a history professor at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, says this time of life is formative because it marks the beginning of independent choices, “the moment in which you become a volitional consumer,” as opposed to being dressed by your parents.
Another article also touches on the idea of why memories were more memorable than others. In this case, our first car, which represented our first steps to being an adult. The author then brings up a good question of whether it was the object that we had nostalgia for or was it the period in life.
It is certainly possible to hear a successful middle-aged person who has the means to buy an expensive car speak with fondness about a jalopy he drove during high school or college. Is this really nostalgia for the object itself or is it more apt to be nostalgia for a particular period of time in one’s past? For example, I may fondly reminisce about eating SPAM, but it really isn’t so much the food item itself that I am nostalgic for; instead, it is nostalgia for a time of life (childhood).
Previously, I had a concern about geotagged photos matching up with corresponding memories at a location in order for a person to fully relive a specific experience. According to another article at Psychology Today, this is not the case. Showing a photo can trigger other memories and also reinforce the validity of memories provided by others. Of course, there’s a caveat to this (think Inception), but you know your family and friends better than I do.