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Curious Kids: Why do old people hate new music?


Curious Kids: Why do old people hate new music?

Curious Kids is a collection for kids of all ages. If you’ve got a query you’d like an skilled to reply, ship it to [email protected]


Why do outdated individuals hate new music? – Holly L., age 14, Belmont, Mass.


When I used to be a young person, my dad wasn’t terribly within the music I favored. To him, it simply appeared like “a lot of noise,” whereas he repeatedly referred to the music he listened to as “beautiful.”

This angle endured all through his life. Even when he was in his 80s, he as soon as turned to me throughout a TV industrial that includes a 50-year-old Beatles’ tune and mentioned, “You know, I just don’t like today’s music.”

It seems that my father isn’t alone.

As I’ve grown older, I’ll usually hear individuals my age say issues like “they just don’t make good music like they used to.”

Why does this occur?

Luckily, my background as a psychologist has given me some insights into this puzzle.

We know that musical tastes start to crystallize as early as age 13 or 14. By the time we’re in our early 20s, these tastes get locked into place fairly firmly.

In reality, research have discovered that by the point we flip 33, most of us have stopped listening to new music. Meanwhile, widespread songs launched once you’re in your early teenagers are more likely to stay fairly widespread amongst your age group for the remainder of your life.

There may very well be a organic rationalization for this. There’s proof that the mind’s means to make refined distinctions between completely different chords, rhythms and melodies will get worse with age. So to older individuals, newer, much less acquainted songs may all “sound the same.”

But I imagine there are some less complicated causes for older individuals’s aversion to newer music. One of essentially the most researched legal guidelines of social psychology is one thing referred to as the “mere exposure effect.” In a nutshell, it signifies that the extra we’re uncovered to one thing, the extra we have a tendency to love it.

This occurs with individuals we all know, the commercials we see and, sure, the songs we take heed to.

When you’re in your early teenagers, you most likely spend a good period of time listening to music or watching music movies. Your favourite songs and artists turn out to be acquainted, comforting components of your routine.

For many individuals over 30, job and household obligations improve, so there’s much less time to spend discovering new music. Instead, many will merely take heed to outdated, acquainted favorites from that interval of their lives after they had extra free time.

Of course, these teen years weren’t essentially carefree. They’re famously complicated, which is why so many TV reveals and flicks – from “Glee” to “Love, Simon” to “Eighth Grade” – revolve round the highschool turmoil.

Psychology analysis has proven that the feelings that we expertise as teenagers appear extra intense than people who comes later. We additionally know that intense feelings are related to stronger reminiscences and preferences. All of this may clarify why the songs we take heed to throughout this era turn out to be so memorable and beloved.

So there’s nothing mistaken along with your dad and mom as a result of they don’t like your music. In a manner, it’s all a part of the pure order of issues.

At the identical time, I can say from private expertise that I developed a keenness for the music I heard my very own youngsters play after they had been youngsters. So it’s definitely not unattainable to get your dad and mom on board with Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X.


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