With that bit of background, I've recently encountered a "quizes" application that has you answer a short list of questions and then tells you, in percentage form, how similar your answers are to those of your friends. One such quiz is called "priorities in life" and asks you to rank the following ten things in order of importance to you:
loveWhen I just say the title of this quiz, I was curious to take it. When I saw the choices, though, I decided against, because honestly I can't see a person's interest in these things telling me much about them. They're the sort of things that have a sort of moderate importance to me that is roughly equal across the board, too close to rank meaningfully.
having a house
having a car
Evidently, the creator of the quiz things otherwise. The natural inference is that he or she sees these things as the obvious candidates for what's important in life, and would have a hard time seeing why anyone might want to list other things. Alternatively, the creator might have several things he or she would rank higher, but considers those ten the only sufficiently universal ones to put in a quiz like this.
I find this significant because I suspect that the creator of the application is not totally out of touch with the thinking of the average American, providing fuel for my wonderings about how the average American thinks. Unfortunately, it tends to confirm Vjack's comment...