(CBS News) The beliefs adults hold dear right now might not thrill their future selves.
A new study to be published in Science on Jan. 4 shows that while we may insist that we won’t change our minds in the future, we’re more likely to change than we think.
“It’s hard to imagine ourselves in the future. That mistakenly causes us to think we won’t change in the future,” Daniel Gilbert, a professor in the department of psychology at Harvard University, said to HealthDay. “What our study shows is that people dramatically underestimate how different their future selves will be.”
Researchers surveyed more than 7,500 adults between the ages of 18 to 68 who chose to answer online survey questions at the end of a French television program about the secrets of happiness. People were asked questions to determine their personality through subjects like conscientiousness and emotional stability, and then told the re-answer the questions as if they were 10 years older and younger. The “past” and “future” answers were then compared to people who were in corresponding age groups at the time of taking the survey.