Why the Beloit Mindset List Must Be Destroyed

Every year since 1998, Beloit College has released something called The Beloit Mindset List, which purports to be “a globally reported and utilized guide to the intelligent if unprepared adolescent consciousness.”

In fact, the List is a poorly written compendium of trivia, stereotypes and lazy generalizations, insulting to both students and their professors, and based on nothing more than the uninformed speculation of its authors. It inspires lazy, inaccurate journalism and is an embarrassment to academia.

In this blog we will lay out the case against The Mindset List through a thorough examination of each of the 1,000+ items that have appeared on the list over the past 16 years.

17 thoughts on “Why the Beloit Mindset List Must Be Destroyed

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  2. Without lazy, inaccurate journalism, the Chronicle would be a very thin publication and could only stay in business by taking more money from Gates.

    Rock on, guys! The mindset list is just painful (and pointless) to read.

  3. There is some truth to the list but the fact that students know less is laughable.
    Know “different” would be more accurate.

  4. I believe that the jury is still out about whether non-human primates have “minds” or not, and that there is considerable primatologist support for their having minds. Perhaps you could select a more suitable image to stand in for mindless?

    • Hi Terry:

      We here Beloit Mindlessness already know that primates have minds. The gorilla in the photo is Burt our assistant. He proofreads all of our posts, answers our fan mail, and takes care of all of our IT needs. When he is not working he sits around the lunchroom watching the original Mighty Joe Young (1949) on a small TV on top of the fridge.

      J.Q. Angry

  5. Actually, there’s quite a bit of research that goes into it. Admittedly, it is all done with tongue in cheek, which for those of you apparently without a sense of humor, means that they do it for fun as much as for information.

  6. The mindset list is probably not very relevant once college profs recognize that they are there to teach and form students who have little or no knowledge of what the profs’ subject is. While it is nice to have cultural references that are understood by one’s audience, it is simply foolish to assume anyone understands all of your references. So if you make a reference to some dead idea or person, you need to put it into context and, if it is important, stimulate the student to continue learning by finding more about your reference. Most faculty use a vocabulary that is beyond a teen’s but that doesn’t mean the faculty is pompous. So the mindset list is useful in that it gives one an idea of the repairs that are necessary in the process of education. So read it if you must, but keep it in perspective.

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  8. Fooey! Have you nothing better to do than “hate” on on something that is amusing and harmless? Being far over eighteen myself, I always find the annual Mindset List of interest as being reflective of the passage of time as I have known it. I suggest you cease wasting time with this effort and go perform some more productive and salutary action, such as soaking your collective heads.

    • Agreed, Gregory Rihn. I’m a Beloit alum and I was no fan of the prof responsible for the mindset list, but…seriously? Don’t these people have anyone better to scrutinize?

      Ooh, we’re gonna pick on the big, bad…liberal arts college professor?

      • Well, only if you’re a non-tenured assistant professor at a two year community college; you know, the ones they make prime-time sit-coms about.

    • I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the lazy stereotypes and specious reasoning of the Mindset List have driven its supporters to threaten violence.

      We urge our supporters to remain calm and not respond to these provocations in kind.

      We also call on Messrs. Nief & McBride to speak out against violence in defense of the Mindset List. Please reach out to unhinged fans of yours and urge them to seek appropriate help.

  9. Why are the authors of the mindlessness page so scared of publishing their names? Seems unfair to take swipes at people for their work and then be afraid hold yourselves accountable by using your names.

    • As much as we would enjoy basking in the acclaim that will come from destroying the Beloit Mindset List, unlike Messrs. Nief & McBride we have decided to eschew self-aggrandizement and let our arguments speak for themselves.

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