A recent research work at Harvard University has discovered a new phenomenon which has been coined the name, ‘the end of history illusion’. In this condition, people mistakenly believe that they are indeed the finished product.
A survey conducted on approximately 19,000 people revealed that whenever people looked back on the years gone past, it was easy for them to realize how much they had changed. But when they were asked to look into the future, they were mostly unable to see how different they would turn out to be.
These findings have helped in explaining why a teenager who gets inked believes that he or she will never ever regret the same although they may actually do so in the future. The study also explains why it is difficult for people to imagine that they will have stronger prospects of having grey hair once they got older.
During the study, researchers questioned participants in the age group of 18 to 68 years about different attributes like their values, personalities and things which they liked to do. While some participants were asked to reflect back in time over almost 10 years, others were asked to predict how they expected to change in the coming 10 years.
They found that across the board, all participants had underestimated how much they would change in the future. Lead researcher of the study, Daniel Gilbert, Psychologist at Harvard University concluded that the study helped them in understanding why a 40 year-old looking back at the years bygone would remember more looking back than a 30 year old would do while looking ahead or into the future.