End-of-history illusion

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The end-of-history illusion is a psychological illusion in which individuals believe that they have experienced significant personal growth and changes in tastes up to the present moment, but will not substantially grow or mature in the future.[1] Despite recognizing that their perceptions have evolved, individuals predict that their perceptions will remain roughly the same in the future.

The illusion is based on the fact that at any given developmental stage, an individual can observe a relatively low level of maturity in previous stages. The phenomenon affects teenagers, middle-aged individuals, and seniors. In general, people tend to see significant changes in hindsight, but fail to predict that these changes will continue. The reason for the illusion has not been studied, although researchers speculate that a resistance or fear of change may be causal.[2]

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  1. ^ Quoidbach, Jordi; Gilbert, Daniel T.; Wilson, Timothy D. (2013-01-04). "The End of History Illusion" (PDF). Science 339 (6115): 96–98. doi:10.1126/science.1229294. ISSN 0036-8075. ... all believed they had changed a lot in the past but would change relatively little in the future. 
  2. ^ Tierney, John (2013-01-04). "You Won’t Stay the Same, Study Finds". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 

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