Photo: DVIDSHUB via Flickr
You probably don’t want to be the president or a firefighter anymore.A team of psychologists at Harvard and University of Virginia found people are poor predictors of their future selves.
They studied 19,000 subjects between the ages of 18 and 68 and asked them questions about their past, present and future. The psychologists found people underestimate how much their tastes will change in a few years time, although they can see how much they’ve changed in hindsight.
Daniel Gilbert, one of the researchers, calls the idea that we think we’ve stopped changing when we haven’t “The End Of History Illusion.”
Of course, it’s hard to set yourself up for success when you don’t know what your aspirations will be in 10 years time.
Gilbert makes a suggestion:
“The single best way to make predictions about what you’re going to want in the future isn’t to imagine yourself in the future,” says Gilbert.
“It’s to look at other people who are in the very future you’re imagining. Other people provide some of the best information we can get about the future.”
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