The study was conducted over a 12-month period as researchers reviewed candid footage of people on first dates. Dr. Susan Ferry recounted the experience saying, "It was fascinating to discover exactly how many times the male on the date would react with complete disbelief when the female revealed she had not seen whatever movie he had just referenced. The fact is there are plenty of people out there who just haven't seen Back to the Future or Star Wars or Blade Runner, but the male refuses to believe it, believing instead that everyone has had the same experiences that he's had."
Dr. Ferry and others dug deeper into the lives of these people and discovered that they each had, in fact, lived different lives. While the male, for example, was out watching Iron Man III, the female was busy reading Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking. While the female was six generations deep into a family in The Sims, the male was looking through a Bob Dillon record collection. In fact, until they had met, not one single event in their lives synced up in any meaningful way.
"The results of this study," says Dr. Ferry, "may go a long way toward explaining why some people refuse to believe that certain things are a problem to one social group. It may simply be a matter of that problem never occurring in the the observer's own social group. In much the same way that a man may scoff at a date for never having seen Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, he may also scoff at a black man who claims to have been harassed by a policeman."
The study is now entering peer review and repeat experiments are not expected to yield different experiences.