The psychology of your future self

为什么我们总是做出一些后来会后悔的决定?
时间:2017-12-28 单词数:11290

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导读:生命的每个阶段, 我们都会做出一些决定,这些决定会深刻影响我们未来的生活。当我们成为未来的自己时,我们可能会对这些决定后悔。这是为什么呢?

为什么我们总是做出一些后来会后悔的决定_英语新闻

At every stage of our lives we make decisions that will profoundly influence the lives of the people we’re going to become, and then when we become those people, we’re not always thrilled with the decisions we made. So young people pay good money to get tattoos removed that teenagers paid good money to get. Middle-aged people rushed to divorce people who young adults rushed to marry. Older adults work hard to lose what middle-aged adults worked hard to gain. On and on and on. The question is, as a psychologist, that fascinates me is, why do we make decisions that our future selves so often regret?

在我们生命的每个阶段, 我们都会做出一些决定,这些决定会深刻影响我们未来的生活。当我们成为未来的自己时,我们并不总是对过去做过的决定感到高兴。所以年轻人花很多钱洗去当还是青少年时花了很多钱做的纹身。中年人急着跟年轻时迫不及待想结婚的人离婚。老年人很努力的挥霍着作为中年人时不停工作所赚的钱。 如此没完没了。作为一个心理学家,让我感兴趣的问题是, 为什么我们会做出让自己将来常常后悔的决定?

Now, I think one of the reasons -- I’ll try to convince you today — is that we have a fundamental misconception about the power of time. Every one of you knows that the rate of change slows over the human lifespan, that your children seem to change by the minute but your parents seem to change by the year. But what is the name of this magical point in life where change suddenly goes from a gallop to a crawl? Is it teenage years? Is it middle age? Is it old age? The answer, it turns out, for most people, is now, wherever now happens to be. What I want to convince you today is that all of us are walking around with an illusion, an illusion that history, 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.

我认为其中一个原因——也是我今天想说服你们的——就是我们对时间的力量有个基本的错误概念。你们每个人都知道变化的速度随着人的年龄增长不断放慢, 孩子们好像每分钟都有变化, 而父母们的变化则要慢得多。那么生命中这个让变化突然间从飞速变得缓慢的 神奇转折点应该叫什么呢? 是青少年时期吗?是中年时期吗?是老年阶段吗? 其实对大多数人来说,答案是,现在,无论现在发生在什么。今天我想让大家明白的是,我们所有人都在围绕着 一种错觉生活,这种错觉就是,我们每个人的过去,都已经结束了, 我们已经成为了我们应该成为的那种人,在余下的生命中也都会如此。

Let me give you some data to back up that claim. So here’s a study of change in people’s personal values over time.Here’s three values. Everybody here holds all of them, but you probably know that asyou grow, as you age, the balance of these values shifts. So how does it do so?Well, we asked thousands of people. We asked half of them to predict for us howmuch their values would change in the next 10 years, and the others to tellus how much their values had changed in the last 10 years. And this enabled usto do a really interesting kind of analysis, because it allowed us to comparethe predictions of people, say, 18 years old, to the reports of people whowere 28, and to do that kind of analysis throughout the lifespan.

我想给你们展示一些数据来支持这个观点。这是一项关于人们的个人价值观 随时间变化的研究。这里有3种价值观。每个人的生活都与这三个价值观相关,但是你们可能知道,随着你们慢慢长大、变老,这三个价值观的平衡点会不断变化。 到底是怎么回事呢? 我们询问了数千人。我们让他们当中一半的人预测了一下在未来10年中,他们的价值观会发生多大的改变, 让另一半人告诉我们,在过去的10年中,他们的价值观发生了多大的变化。这项调查可以让我们做一个很有趣的分析, 因为它可以让我们将大约18岁左右的人的预测同大约28岁左右的人的答案相比较,这项分析可以贯穿人的一生。

Here’s what we found. First of all, you are right, change does slow down as we age, but second, you’re wrong, because it doesn’t slow nearly as much as we think. At every age, from 18 to 68 in our data set, people vastly underestimated how much change they would experience over the next 10 years. We call this the "end of history" illusion. 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.

这是我们的发现。首先,你们是对的,随着我们年龄的增长,变化会减缓。第二,你们错了,因为这种变化并不像我们想象的那么慢。在我们的数据库从18岁到68岁的每一个年龄段中,人们大大的低估了在未来的10年他们会经历多少变化。我们把这叫做“历史终止”错觉。为了让你们了解这种影响有多大,你们可以把这两条线连接起来,你们现在看到的是18岁的人群预期的改变仅仅和50岁的人群实际经历的一样。

Now it’s not just values. It’s all sorts of other things. For example, personality. Many of you know that psychologists now claim that there are five fundamental dimensions of personality:neuroticism, openness to experience,agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness. Again, we asked people how much they expected to change over the next 10 years, and also how much they had changed over the last 10 years, and what we found, well, you’re going to get used to seeing this diagram over and over,because once again the rate of change does slow as we age, but at every age,people underestimate how much their personalities will change in the next decade.

现在不仅仅是价值观了。其他的方面都也有变化。比如说,人格。 你们当中的很多人知道现在心理学家们认为人格可以分为五个基本维度:神经质性,经验汲取度,协调性,外向性和道德感。回到原来的话题,我们问人们他们期待未来的10年中自己会有多大的变化,以及他们在过去的10年中发生了多少变化,我们发现了, 你们会习惯不断地看到这个图表,因为又一次,变化速率随着我们的年龄增长减慢了。但是在每一个年龄阶段,人们都低估了在未来的十年中他们的人格会发生多大的改变。

And it isn’t just ephemeral things like values and personality. You can ask people about their likes and dislikes,their basic preferences. For example, name your best friend, your favorite kind of vacation, what’s your favorite hobby, what’s your favorite kind of music.People can name these things. We ask half of them to tell us, "Do you thinkthat that will change over the next 10 years?" and half of them to tell us,"Did that change over the last 10 years?" And what we find, well, you’ve seen it twice now, and here it is again: people predict that the friend they have now is the friend they’ll have in 10 years, the vacation they most enjoy now is the one they’ll enjoy in 10 years, and yet, people who are 10 years older all say,"Eh, you know, that’s really changed."

而且不光是像价值观和人格这样的临时性的特质。你们可以问问人们关于他们喜好和厌恶的事,他们基本的偏好。比如说,说出你最好朋友的名字, 你最喜欢什么样的假期,你最大的爱好是什么,你最喜欢什么样的音乐。人们可以说出这些事情。 们让他们当中的一半人告诉我们,“你认为这在未来10年内会改变吗?” 让另一半告诉我们, “这个在过去十年内变化了吗?” 我们的发现是,嗯,这个图你们已经看过2次了,再展示一次:人们推测他们现在的朋友在未来10年中还会是他们的朋友, 他们喜欢的度假之地在未来10年内还会是他们喜欢的地方,然而,年长10岁的人都会说: “嗯,你知道,这确实不一样了。”

Does any of this matter? Is this just a form of mis-prediction that doesn’t have consequences? No, it matters quite a bit, and I’ll give you an example of why. It be devils our decision-making inimportant ways. Bring to mind right now for yourself your favorite musician today and your favorite musician 10 years ago. I put mine up on the screen to help you along. Now we asked people to predict for us, to tell us how much money they would pay right now to see their current favorite musician perform in concert 10 years from now, and on average, people said they would pay 129 dollars for that ticket. And yet, when we asked them how much they would pay to see the person who was their favorite 10 years ago perform today, they say only 80 dollars. Now, in a perfectly rational world, these should be the same number, but we overpay for the opportunity to indulge our current preferences because we overestimate their stability.

这有什么关系吗? 这只是一种并不会有什么后果的错误的预测吗? 不,这有很大的关系,我会举例告诉你们为什么。它在很多重要的方面困扰着我们做决定。 现在想想你们此时此刻最喜欢的音乐人, 还有10年前你们最喜欢的音乐人。 我把我的答案放在大屏幕上作为提示。现在我们让人们预测一下,告诉我们他们现在愿意付多少钱来参加他们现在最喜欢的音乐人从现在起10年后的音乐会, 平均来讲,人们会说他们会付 29美元买票。 然而,当我们问他们愿意付多少钱去看他们10年前喜欢的人现在的演出, 他们说只有80块。那么,在一个完全理性的世界里,这两个数字应该是相同的,但是我们为沉浸于当前喜好中 的机会付了更多的钱,因为我们高估了它们的持久性。

Why does this happen? We’re not entirely sure, but it probably has to do with the ease of remembering versus the difficulty of imagining. Most of us can remember who we were 10 years ago, but we find it hard to imagine who we’re going to be, and then we mistakenly think that because it’s hard to imagine, it’s not likely to happen. Sorry, when people say "I can’t imagine that," they’re usually talking about their own lack of imagination, and not about the unlikelihood of the event that they’re describing.

为什么会发生这样的变化呢? 我们也不是很确定,不过这可能与记忆的消逝和想象的难度相关。 我们中的大多数人都能记得10年前的我们是什么样子, 但是要想象我们会成为什么样的人就困难了, 然后我们会错误地认为因为很难想象,就不太可能会发生。 很遗憾,当人们说“我可想象不出来”, 他们通常是在表达他们缺乏想象力, 而不是他们所描述的不可能发生的事情。

The bottom line is, time is a powerful force. It transforms our preferences. It reshapes our values. It alters our personalities. We seem to appreciate this fact, but only in retrospect. Only when we look backwards do we realize how much change happens in a decade. It’s as if, foremost of us, the present is a magic time. It’s a watershed on the timeline. It’s the moment at which we finally become ourselves. Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. The person you are right now is as transient, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been. The one constant in our life is change.

总而言之,时间是一种强大的力量。 它改变了我们的喜好。它重塑了我们的价值观。 它改变了我们的人格。我们似乎会感激这个事实,但是只在回想过去的时候。只有在我们回首过去的时候我们才会认识到在过去的十年里发生了多么大的变化。好像,对我们大多数人来说,当前是个有魔力的时刻。它是时间轴上的分水岭。它是一个使我们最终成为我们自己的时刻。人类还处在发展变化的过程中,却错误地以为他们不会发生任何改变了 现在的你只是处于过渡中,转瞬即逝,暂时的状态而已,就像所有那些过去的你。在我们的生命中唯一不变的就是,变化。

来源:商业内幕网爱语吧作者:悠悠

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