Non-stop reminiscing about Decembers past may cut down your gas bill.
PROBLEM: Why do we get so nostalgic in December? Smell, touch, and music have all been proven to evoke it, and the holidays have all three (though, apologies if you're not being touched enough this season). While they can spur us to give love to our fellow man, or remind of us what's important in life, they may also serve a more utilitarian function.
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METHODOLOGY: Researchers at the University of Southampton recruited college students to participate in five relatively basic studies centering around nostalgia to warmth. Some of them would probably make great holiday party games.
1. Participants were asked to keep a journal of nostalgic feelings over 30 days, which were then compared to each day's weather.
2. Participants were placed in rooms ranging from cold to comfortable to over-heated, and then asked how nostalgic they felt.
3. In an online study, participants listened to music and were asked about how nostalgic it made them feel, along with how warm they currently felt.