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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:20 PM

Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be

When we remember our past selves, they seem quite different. We know how much our personalities and tastes have changed over the years. But when we look ahead, somehow we expect ourselves to stay the same, a team of psychologists said Thursday, describing research they conducted of people’s self-perceptions.

They called this phenomenon the “end of history illusion,” in which people tend to “underestimate how much they will change in the future.” According to their research, which involved more than 19,000 people ages 18 to 68, the illusion persists from teenage years into retirement.

“Middle-aged people — like me — often look back on our teenage selves with some mixture of amusement and chagrin,” said one of the authors, Daniel T. Gilbert, a psychologist at Harvard. “What we never seem to realize is that our future selves will look back and think the very same thing about us. At every age we think we’re having the last laugh, and at every age we’re wrong.”

Other psychologists said they were intrigued by the findings, published Thursday in the journal Science, and were impressed with the amount of supporting evidence. Participants were asked about their personality traits and preferences — their favorite foods, vacations, hobbies and bands — in years past and present, and then asked to make predictions for the future. Not surprisingly, the younger people in the study reported more change in the previous decade than did the older respondents.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/science/study-in-science-shows-end-of-history-illusion.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130104&_r=0

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Reply Why You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be (Original post)
groovedaddy Jan 2013 OP
xchrom Jan 2013 #1
bemildred Jan 2013 #2
TlalocW Jan 2013 #3
Myrina Jan 2013 #5
Uncle Joe Jan 2013 #4

Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:27 PM

1. Du rec. Nt

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Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:37 PM

2. Yep, most rapid change in human history (dunno about pre-History).

Anybody who thinks tomorrow will be pretty much like today, let alone ten years ago, is not paying attention. Have you considered how much has happened in Science, technology, politics, etc. since 2000? It's risky trying to think two years ahead. Would you have predicted in 2000 that the USA in 2012 would have twice elected an african american President by the biggest margins since Eisenhower? Well guess what, that is now a fact. And yet we get pundits all day long selling the idea that tomorrow will be like yesterday, because that is all they know.

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Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:17 PM

3. I don't know...

I feel I've been consistently right about things since I was a little kid. Probably my huge ego... and my track record of always being correct.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:16 PM

5. I find myself returning back to interests/hobbies/habits

... now in my late 40's, that I had when I was in elementary/middle school.

Like those things are so deeply ingrained in 'who I am', that even though I got distracted by different interests/issues over the years, the original things that made up my personality haven't budged. Then again, maybe I'm just a big, un-emotionally/un-intellectually developed kid.

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Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:37 PM

4. This thread needs a theme song.



Thanks for the thread, groovedaddy.

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