Talking ‘Bout Your Generation

By Julie Hall
November 29, 2021

Understanding and appreciating the differences among the five generations active today is critical. Currently, there are five different generations interacting together and a wide variety of life experiences exist among these generations. At one end of the spectrum, one generation grew up without television while at the other end a generation doesn’t remember a world without having a super computer in their pocket available 24/7. One generation feels nostalgic about the “race to space” in the 1960’s while another still experiences PTSD watching the Challenger explode live on television. Each generation has its own unique perspective, challenges, and contributions, and we can all grow by listening to and learning from people who are different than us. Generational diversity, empathy and understanding is important as we navigate these difficult times.

This Wed, Dec 1, 2021 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST leading quality-first sampling platform Pure Spectrum and behavioral science technology insights organization, Sentient Decision Science, will present their collective recent research report Mind The Gap:
Tracking the five generations to understand implicit attitudes. Pure Spectrum and Sentient Decision Science, joined forces this fall for the first-of-its-kind study to uncover the implicit attitudes of the five generations interacting together today. Providing a new look into the current attitudes of these disparate generations, the PureSpectrum/Sentient Decision Science Generational Emotion Study combines System 1 (subconscious) and System 2 (conscious) measures to unlock a deeper understanding of the generational mind-set. The report takes a look at how these generations feel about work, money, climate change, politics, a post-COVID-19 world and their future and the webinar will dive deeper into some interesting learnings. By tracking five generations to understand their implicit attitudes, Sentient Decision Science’s patented behavioral science-based technology – Sentient Prime – and PureSpectrum’s Marketplace Platform uncovered interesting finding to improve our understanding of the many generational attitudes we live with currently.

When Generations Collide: Working Together

The generational differences are most profound in the new “workplace” habits in our new, ongoing Covid reality. Workplace consultant Lindsey Pollak, author of “The Remix,” a book about the new multigenerational workplace, says that boomer bosses have to adapt because their businesses are changing, their customers are changing, and their employees are changing. Some younger employees who’ve come to prize the flexibility of working from home during the pandemic are resisting a return to the office every day, meaning older supervisors may oversee a remote workforce indefinitely. “Boomers and some GenX are wanting to return to “normal” but it’s not clear what normal is now,” said Basima Tewfik, an MIT professor who teaches work and organizations. Many in the younger generations, she said, are more comfortable with change in their work lives and beyond. And the importance of having empathy for other generations will become even more pronounced as generations age. According to the World Health Organization, men and women who are healthy at 60 will, on average, be physically capable of working until they are 74 and 77, respectively.

The fundamental emotional differences among the five generations living and working together today are critical to understand how we can move forward productively together. Knowing what emotional cues drive each generation can help better understand the drivers behind behavior. The differences are many and yet so few. This is stated so clearly by Gretchen Gavett when she wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, the Gen Z up-and-comers – we all want the same things, (income, sure, but also purpose, and to feel valued) just in slightly different ways. The challenge is to look past the stereotypes and listen to one another so that good work gets done efficiently and humanely.”

Why Study Generational Theory?

It’s instructive to look at the impact of the times in which different groups of people have grown up. Looking at the technology a generation grew up with, the geopolitical and economic turbulence they may have witnessed, the cultural norms and educational philosophies that dominated their development and the media and advertising messages they saw and heard are all instructive in understanding how generations feel. We are not all the same, but we tend to share some common experiences that are valuable to note and those common experiences can offer clues to how we prefer to communicate, what challenges or opportunities we might face in the workplace, and much more. Generational commonalities can provide an opportunity for bonding or offer a cultural touchpoint that binds us together.

The webinar will offer a foundational understanding of the theories, tools and technology available today to quantify and measure human emotion. The importance of using System 1 and System 2 measures combined with the right representation can reveal a better understanding of what drives decisions. The challenge we all face: how can we connect, communicate, and collaborate most effectively in the workplace and outside of the workplace?


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