The vintage culture has grown very large in the last 10 years, with all sorts of collectables from furniture, to homes, to old signs and toys. Just watch the show "American Pickers" to get an idea of this subculture.

The nostalgia and style of the vintage subculture seems to create some sort of feeling that is very pleasant/euphoric.

Especially during times of increased stress, high levels of psychological pressure and/or life struggle - the vintage objects seem to provide some sort of comfort for the individual (as I have also witnessed this in myself and observed in others).

Are there any studies that look into this phenomenon and what are some of it predominant findings?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think there's enough demand for a "vintage" tag, but we can always re-add it later. $\endgroup$ Aug 20, 2013 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


A long time ago nostalgia was a medical diagnosis. Longing for that which was comforting is perhaps a natural response to no longer being comforted (e.g the current economic crisis). Furthermore, behavioural economics and psychology both do work on people's tendency to remember the past better than today. You could look at the ego-centric memory bias. (you might note the false consensus effect which is related and the cause of many a belief in an erroneous "common sense").

If you combine these you might just see why the vintage is appealing. In fact, even beyond one's own experience there is the lore of the past being better passed down from generation through generation by way of the ego-centric bias, perhaps making older vintage even more appealing. I remember Twain and others writing on this but cannot recall a quote.

Finally, I'm sure that some vintage things are often just lovely on their own and have an appeal of artistry different from modern for a variety of reasons.


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