Beloit, WI (WIBX) - There is now proof that if you were born in 1994 you see the world differently than, well, most of us.

Beloit College's Ron Nief and Tom McBride co-created "The Mindset List" fourteen years ago and it has become one of the things most identified with Beloit College.  The list's authors have also written a book, The Mindset Lists of American History, with their findings over the years.


Nief, Emeritus Director of Public Affairs, and McBride, Keefer Professor of English for the College, have polled incoming freshmen since 1998  to see what cultural landmarks define their generation.

Haven't heard of Beloit, Wisconsin?  That's okay.  According to U.S. Census figures for 2011 it is home to just 36,913 people.  But before you call it a "small" city, or dismiss the cultural acumen of its students, keep in mind that it is less than a hundred miles from Chicago and plays host to an international film festival.  The students come from all over the United States and the world.

The survey of Beloit College freshmen began as a note to professors, 97% of whom hold a Ph.D. or equivalent in their fields, to "watch their references" when addressing what the authors call the "unprepared yet intelligent adolescent consciousness," which is basically a more erudite way of saying, "Be careful what you say because these guys might not have any idea what you're talking about."

Sure enough, after reading the list, you might understand why.

A few of the 75 "pop culture landmarks" which mark their lifetimes and help define members of the class of 2016, are:

  • Robert DeNiro is better known as Greg Focker's father-in-law instead of as Vito Corleone.
  • They have never seen a printed airline "ticket."
  • There have always been blue M&M's.
  • They watch television everywhere but on television.
  • They may never have used an encyclopedia as a reference guide.

Professor McBride will be a guest on "First Look" this week.  But if you cannot catch our interview, here is a publicity video from the college about The Mindset List featuring its co-creators.  You can also watch a link to a discussion about the list by clicking here.

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