The AAPOR Annual Conference is the premier forum for the exchange of advances in public opinion and survey research. The Conference allows attendees to network with colleagues, learn the latest updates and trends in the field and make new connections. The meeting highlights innovative research and includes short courses and discussion forums for attendees of diverse disciplines from around the world.
For many years, society has been defined by generational value conflicts (Twenge, 2010). As people are living longer and having children later in life (Smith, 1999) within a quickly changing technological world, we hypothesize that life stages rather than generational differences might be better predictors of attitudes and behaviors across a wide variety of social topics.
We used a large modular survey of 23,595 respondents fielded in July of 2021 to look at which variable, life stage or generation, explains the most variance across a wide variety of social topics. The topics explored directly through behavior and attitudinal statements in the survey included Automotive, Food & Beverage, Finance, Fashion, Health and Beauty, Health, Self-Care, Media, Advertising, Sports, Technology and Travel. We ran a one-way ANOVA across all 800+ variables and compared how much variation can be explained by either life stage or generation.
As an extension, we ran the same tests on a look-a-like modeled dataset (Ma, 2016) of 131,000 respondents to see if the results still hold in these modeled databases commonly used as seeds for activation purposes in direct marketing.