MEMORIES of the Beatles collected from around the world by scientists have highlighted how the Fab Four changed the lives of millions. People rolled up to take part in The Magical Memory Tour, the biggest online survey of personal memories ever conducted.
The aim was to see how Beatles associations shed light on the psychological effect of autobiographical memory. The six-month study generated around 3,000 responses from people aged 17 to 87 spanning 69 different nationalities.
Participants were invited to recount their most vivid memory relating to a Beatles album, song, news story or band member. Most respondents were “silver surfers” between the ages of 55 and 65 who would have been in their teens during the Beatles hey day in the 1960s. The Beatles song that generated the most memory associations was ‘She Loves You’, the biggest-selling single of the 1960s.
Differences between the most nostalgic song memories emerged between nationalities. While ‘She Loves You’ tended to send English participants down memory lane, for Americans it was ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ that sparked off the most memories.
However the researchers were struck by the similarity of moods, scenes and situations relayed by Beatles memories around the world. “We were so impressed with how vividly people could recall memories, sometimes from more than 40 years ago, especially when many eloquent and vivid memories appeared to have been little recalled in decades,” said Dr Morrison.