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Your true self: The future is a foreign person

点击量:   时间:2019-03-01 10:04:05

Daniel Stolle By Dan Jones Ten years from now, you will still be you, right? It depends on who you ask, and when. Present You, for one, is not so sure. That much is clear from several studies revealing that we often treat our future selves like complete strangers. In one, Emily Pronin, a psychologist at Princeton University, asked people to make decisions about how much of a disgusting cocktail to drink. Some chose for themselves, some for the next participant and some for themselves in two weeks’ time. When choosing for themselves, people opted for the smallest dose. But they went for a larger amount for another person – and for their future selves. Brain imaging points in the same direction: thinking about your current self fires up different brain regions than does thinking about your future self, which activates the same areas of the brain as when we think about other people. Another study focused on our tendency to value immediate rewards more highly than deferred benefits – what economists call “future discounting”. It’s the reason you struggle to save money or choose the healthy salad. The good news is that by getting better acquainted with Future You,