People can't forsee themselves becoming old: study

People can't forsee themselves becoming old: study

 Can't come to terms with changing appearance or getting grey hair as you get older? Blame 'the end of history illusion' phenomenon, which prevents people from seeing themselves differently in the future, a new Harvard study has found.

A study of 19,000 people revealed that when people look back in hindsight it easy to see how much we have changed, than looking into the future, they are rarely able to see how different they are going to be, the Daily Mail reported.

The study by Harvard University researchers explained why a teenager who gets a tattoo never thinks they will regret it, even if they do so later.

The researchers asked the respondents, aged between 18 to 68, to take a survey and asked about their values, personalities and things they liked to do.

Some were asked to reflect back over the last 10 years whilst others were asked to predict how they would change in the coming decade.

The researchers found that across all age ranges, everyone underestimated how much they would be different in the future.

When it came to music for example, most people expected artists like Coldplay or Rhianna to play on into their old age - even though they will by then long have stopped making music.

"What we never seem to realise 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," Lead researcher and psychologist at the University Daniel Gilbert said.

"Life is a process of growing and changing, and what our results suggest is that growth and change really never stops, despite the fact that at every age from 18 to 68, we think it's pretty much come to a close."
"Believing that we just reached the peak of our personal evolution makes us feel good.

The 'I wish that I knew then what I know now' experience might give us a sense of satisfaction and meaning, whereas realising how transient our preferences and values are might lead us to doubt every decision and generate anxiety," researcher Jordi Quoidbach said.

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