The Psychology of Your Future Self (TED Talks)

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  1. Do you ever feel that “our personal history, has just come to an end, that we have just recently become the people that we were always meant to be and will be for the rest of our lives”?
  2. Have your values changed much in the last 10 years? How? How might they change in the future?
  3. When you were 15 — 18, how did you see yourself in 10-20 years? Did you predictions turn out to be true?
  4. “Many of you know that psychologists now claim that there are five fundamental dimensions of personality: neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness” — Do you think that these characteristics can change over years? Big Five personality traits
  5. “…your best friend, your favorite kind of vacation, your favorite hobby, your favorite kind of music” – Have they change over the last 10 years?
  6. To what extent do you agree with this statement? – “…time is a powerful force. It transforms our preferences. It reshapes our values. It alters our personalities.”



to back up = to support someone or something; to say that what someone says, etc. is true

Let me give you some data to back up that claim.

lifespan = the length of time that something is likely to live, continue, or function

And this enabled us to do a really interesting kind of analysis, because it allowed us to compare the predictions of people, say, 18 years old, to the reports of people who were 28, and to do that kind of analysis throughout the lifespan.

magnitude = the great size or importance of something; the degree to which something is large or important

To give you an idea of the magnitude of this effect, you can connect these two lines, and what you see here is that 18-year-olds anticipate changing only as much as 50-year-olds actually do.

ephemeral /ɪˈfɛmərəl/ = lasting or used for only a short period of time

And it isn’t just ephemeral things like values and personality.

to bedevil = to cause a lot of problems for someone or something over a long period of time

It bedevils our decision-making in important ways.