poly: Why Oldies Stations?

From: Robin Hanson <hanson@econ.berkeley.edu>
Date: Thu Apr 02 1998 - 15:16:14 PST

Here's another topic that has nothing to do with Conquering
the Cosmos (tm).

In the 30 Mar '98 New Yorker, Robert Sapolsky has a
thought-provoking article:
"Open Season, when do we lose our taste for the new?"

His team called up various radio stations, tongue stud shops,
and sushi restaurants, and asked when the stuff they played/sold
was first introduced locally, and what the average age of
their clientele is. From this he concludes that

"Most people are twenty years old or younger when they
first hear the popular music they choose to listen to for
the rest of their lives. ... The typical non-asian midwestern
sushi patron had been less than twenty-eight years old when sushi
first arrived in town ... the average tounge-stud wearer
was eighteen or younger when that ... arrived on the scene."

My wife also says she's heard that you can tell how old a women
is by how she puts on her makeup - she does it like she learned
when she was 14.

Here are some theories to explain this pattern:
1) Only young people have the time to explore new ways of doing things.
   Older folks are too busy to reconsider these choices.
2) The main function of these behaviors is to bond with and identify
   with a cohort. They are flags of allegiance.
3) People invest in integrating this stuff into their lives, and so
   choices get entrenched. For example, one may learn that in a
   certain mood one likes a certain musician. Or one's clothing
   wardrobe may be coordinated with one's makeup style.

Robin Hanson
hanson@econ.berkeley.edu http://hanson.berkeley.edu/
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Thu Apr 2 23:25:45 1998

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 07 2006 - 14:45:30 PST