“The Modal American” Listening Guide
Generations and Ages in 2020*
Baby Boomers: Age 55-70
Gen X: Age 40-54
Millennials (aka “Echo-Boomers”): Age 25-39
Gen Z (aka “Zoomers”): Age 10-24
Gen Alpha: <10
*This recording is from 2019, so the ages they mention are a year off.
- Why is it inaccurate to search for the “average” American?
- When someone refers to an “average” American, what are they referring to?
- In statistics, what is the “mode”?
- Who is Ben Castleman? What does he do?
- What is inaccurate about the “average American” that results from many studies?
- What are the researchers trying to find?
- What are Castleman’s findings on age? Why is this interesting?
- Why can’t we use the “median American” to find this information?
- What areas of a people’s lives are they looking for in this study? How are they getting the information? How is this helping them to find the modal American?
- What “modal American” were the researchers initially looking for? Why is that flawed?
- How did they have to change the methodology to fix this flaw?
- Why is finding the modal American in each category not sufficient? (Example)
- What was the final method used for analyzing the data?
- Who is the modal American? How did this surprise them? Why did it make sense?
- Why was this finding a problem? How did they change their question in order to account for this problem?
- Who is the second place (or “first runner up”) modal American?
- Who is the modal American? What does the modal American say about themselves?
- What was surprising about the modal American? Why does it make sense according to the researchers?
- What information did Jacob get from the modal American on the phone? Why do you think he asked these questions?
- What do they predict will happen to the modal American over time?
- What is the significance of this research?
- What is the surprise at the end? Why is this interesting?