Do individuals have nostalgic feelings for their first-ever vehicle? Even if it was a lemon, is there something about one’s first automobile that brings about nostalgic feelings? Let me frame this: A few summers ago a group of my (college) students and I embarked upon a research project which involved collecting stories about Volkswagens. We called our project, “The VW Bug: Stories Told.” In fact, we ended up collecting stories individuals had about any kind of Volkswagen-not just the VW Bug. A senior colleague of mine has a 1968 VW Bug. He allowed us to park the car in Canal Park-a tourist area in Duluth, MN. My students and I collected stories from passersby. We did this in shifts over the course of four weeks. Because Duluth is heavily populated with tourists in the summer months, many of our respondents were from outside the state and, in some cases, outside the country. In this sense, we had a lot of diversity in our convenience sample. Armed with signs which read, “VW Stories Wanted” (a play on their ad tagline, “Drivers Wanted”), cassette recorders, and consent forms, we set out to collect stories.
(Keep reading at First Vehicles and Nostalgia: Fond Feelings for Jalopies? | Psychology Today.)
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