The end of history illusion

A group of researchers has published in Science a paper where they show that people trust their (our) tastes and preferences more than they (us) should, as they change more than they (us) would think.

They include a sample of 19,000 people between 18 and 68 years old, and questions like ‘How much would you pay today for a concert of the group of music that was your favourite 10 years ago?’, and ‘How much would you pay in 10 years for a concert of your actual favourite group of music?’. People of all ages would pay significantly more in the second case. Quite surprising, don’t you think?

Also, they observed that 30-year-olds thought that in the next 10 years they would change much less than 40-year-olds thought they had change in the last 10 years (do you follow me?).

That’s why the authors say: <<People, it seems, regard the present as a watershed moment at which they have finally become the person they will be for the rest of their lives>>, and that has <<practical consequences, leading people to overpay for future opportunities to indulge their current preferences>>, as in the case of marriages, mortgages, insurances…

I wonder, could we learn to live in the present and give it enough relevance? Are we aware of the long-term consequences of our deeds? What do you think?



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