Summary of The Psychology of Your Future Self

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The Psychology of Your Future Self summary
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  • Analytical
  • Eye Opening
  • Engaging


Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert poses the question, “Why do we make decisions that our future selves so often regret?” His answer draws on psychological studies, cognitive research and a well-reasoned theory. Gilbert explains that people of all ages underestimate how much they’ll change in the future, so getAbstract suggests this energetic talk as a cognitive tune-up for any phase of career or life.

About the Speaker

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert studies human happiness; he wrote Stumbling on Happiness.



The decisions you make today affect your future self. You’re currently navigating the consequences of your past choices. Thus, teenagers might undergo the pain and expense of getting a tattoo that their future selves will painstakingly, expensively remove. People might divorce someone their younger selves worshipped or reverse a strenuous effort. Why do people so often make decisions that they later rue? They misjudge the “power of time.”

People perceive that humans change more slowly with age: Children seem to alter and grow “by the minute,” whereas their grandparents appear to change annually. For most individuals, the...

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