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.
Translation: For crying out loud, put a little money away for retirement. You may enjoy sleeping on a broken futon in an apartment that you share with 6 of your best friends now, but don’t assume that Future You will. Worst case scenario, Future You still likes living like a college student and you have a bunch of money.