A survey of 19,000 people conducted by researchers at Harvard University to understand how people perceive their past and what they expect of the future, showed that it was easy for people to make out how much they had changed in the past, but it was difficult to even imagine how they might change in the future.
Calling it "the end of history illusion", researchers quizzed respondents in the age group of 18 to 68 about their values, desires, and what they liked to do. When they were asked to go back to the past or imagine what the future would be like, most respondents could not even imagine the prospect of grey hair.
AdvertisementSome participants of the study were asked to reflect over the last 10 years, while others were told to predict how they will change in the next decade.
The team discovered that across all ages most people were unable to guess the extent they might change in the future. The study also showed that a 40-year-old reflecting on the past would probably remember much more than a 30-year-old imagining the future.