Dr Forshee speaking to Romper about the nostalgic connection between pumpkins and fall.
The main reason people feel such a strong connection to pumpkins has to do with the nostalgia we feel about the fall season itself, according to psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Danielle Forshee. “Some of the nostalgia of the fall season comes with the positive memories and experiences that we have associated with the season itself. The fall season is a time of apple picking, pumpkin picking and carving, fall festivals, and spending a lot of time with loved ones,” Dr. Forshee says.
Because of the pumpkin’s prevalence in fall activities, you could definitely call the pumpkin the unofficial symbol of the fall season. So when you see a pumpkin, smell a pumpkin baked good or latte, you’re likely going to associate this with the memories that the fall season creates each and every year. The sense of community created when you gather your kids to carve a pumpkin or take them to a pumpkin patch to capture adorably fun Instagram shots are memories that will last a lifetime. Each of these instances creates a bond to the fall season that pumpkins serve as a reminder of.
“Spending time and sharing new experiences with the most important people in our lives creates an overwhelming sense of security, comfort, connectedness, and happiness,” Dr. Forshee says. “During these activities, we also generate new memories and experiences that are what we call ‘novel experiences.’ Novel experiences are experiences that we have that are outside of the norm. They are experiences that are exciting and different, which create a sense of excitement and newness. These types of novel experiences are essential to stimulating excitement within ourselves and with other people.”
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