Demographic Predictions / Motivation Techniques

Hosted byGeorge Noory

Demographic Predictions / Motivation Techniques

About the show

In the first half, demographer and generational marketing expert Ken Gronbach offered a look into the future by using the tool of demographics. He laid out some broad population trends in the United States and in other countries which, he explained, foretell dramatic changes for the future. As the largest American generation, for instance, today's 16 to 35-year-olds will rejuvenate the country's labor force and push politics leftward in the short term—until they become more conservative in their later years. For their part, baby boomers, whom Gronbach says are currently the wealthiest demographic, will continue to make massive health care purchases, and will account for the loss of support for the Republican Party as they die off.

Demographics is extremely relevant to success in business and marketing, said Gronbach. By understanding the needs and wants of groups of customers—actual and potential—over time, he maintained, companies can make better decisions about what to sell, what to avoid doing, and how and when to change strategies.

Listeners were divided in their reaction to Gronbach's arguments. A caller in New York, for example, expressed his appreciation for the straightforward and data-based way that Gronbach presented his findings. An Oklahoma listener agreed that it makes sense to look to younger generations for solutions to the challenges of the future. From Nevada, on the other hand, a caller accused Gronbach of "making stuff up" about shrinking support for Republican politics—and a listener in North Carolina challenged the data Gronbach relies on, saying "astrology beats demographics."

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Author Paul McKenna, Ph.D. has helped millions through increasing their positivity and optimism. In the second half, he shared his goal to "get people less stressed, more motivated, and more confident" and "to thrive, not just survive" by helping them learn to change their mindset and employ specific techniques. He cited research that links positive behaviors, ranging from maintaining a healthy self-image to good posture, to finding better opportunities in life and being better equipped to calculate risks and handle stress.

One specific technique McKenna recommends is Heartmath, which is endorsed by the US military. Levels of cortisol in the body caused by stress or fear, he said, can be reduced by simply placing a hand over one's heart and taking three deep, slow breaths. Another tactic he favors, this one called havening, helps to reduce anxiety or panic by mimicking the feeling of our being held as infants. By placing each of our hands on their opposite shoulders and then rubbing our outer arms, McKenna went on, delta waves are created in the brain, bringing about feelings of relaxation.

News Segment guests: Dr. John Curtis, Jeff Nelken

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