Our Puny Human Brains Are Terrible At Thinking About The Future

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Even without a brush with mortality, some people are very future-minded. Seventeen percent of Americans say they think about the world 30 years out at least once a week. Nearly one-third, or 29 percent, think about the 10-year future at least once a week. And slightly more (35 percent) think about the five-year future at least once a week. The fact that some people regularly “check in” mentally with the future aligns with something researchers have previously discovered: People have different thresholds for when they view a future self as a stranger. For some people, their MPFC powers down when thinking about a future self a year from now; for others, the switch doesn’t happen until “future you” is five, 10, or 15 years out. It’s not clear from the present data whether thinking about the future regularly can change the brain’s behavior or whether people who have a higher threshold just naturally enjoy thinking about the future more, because they already relate better to their future selves.

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Source : http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/04/why_people_are_so_bad_at_thinking_about_the_future.html

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