voices in the family

Future Selves


January 28, 2013 — Why do people make decisions they regret 10 years down the road, like getting a tattoo or rushing to marry that certain someone?

New research on what’s called the “End of History Illusion” says many of us underestimate how much we’ll change in the future. We pretty much believe who we are now is who we’ll be tomorrow. And we think this — even though we know how much we’ve changed in the past.

On Voices in the Family with Dan Gottlieb: what research on the End of History Illusion says about how we perceive ourselves. Our guest is Daniel Gilbert.

Daniel Gilbert is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. He’s a social psychologist and the author of the award-winning international bestseller Stumbling on Happiness. His latest research on the End of History Illusion with Jordi Quoidbach and Timothy Wilson was published recently in the journal Science.

Photo by Flickr user H-Huynh




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  • wendi

    several years ago I was diagnosed with an incurable though not fatal “syndrome.” Since then I suffered a traumatic brain injury that has affected my cognitive ability, although my recovery has been good. The way I see myself now is very negative, even though I’ve been in therapy for years. The future for myself I feel will never change. Do you see this in people with physical and mental trauma, that they feel they’ll never get better?




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