Journey to Elsewhen 01
The View from in Here 02
Outside Looking In 03
In the Blindspot of the Mind's Eye 04
The Hound of Silence 05
The Future Is Now 06
Time Bombs 07
Paradise Glossed 08
Immune to Reality 09
Once Bitten 10
Reporting Live from Tomorrow 11
The Hound of Silence
Chapter 5 continues the discussion from the previous chapter. One problem with the "Reality Movie" is that some of the things that are in the movie aren't in reality itself. But the other problem is that some of the things that are in reality aren't included in the movie.
When we imagine the future, we leave things out, and the things we leave out are important. The psychologists Cheryl Wakslaks, Yaacov Trope, and Nira Liberman review work showing that as the imagined future gets further away from us, we leave out more and more details. This causes us to agree to do things in the future that we don't want to do when the time to do them arrives, such as raking the leaves or visiting the dentist.
The psychologists Roger Buehler, Dale Griffin, and Lee Ross explore another consequence of our brain's tendency to leave some things out of the "Reality Movie," namely, the fact that we overestimate how much we will be able to do in the future.
If the foibles of imagination lead us to commit ourselves to take actions in the far future that we would be too lazy or scared to take in the near future, then should we really think of them as errors?
C. J. Wakslak, Y. Trope, and N. Liberman, "Transcending the Now: Time as a Dimension of Psychological Distance," in Timing the future, ed. M. Myslobodsky (London: World Scientific/Imperial College, 2006).
R. Buehler, D. Griffin, and M. Ross, "Inside the Planning Fallacy: The Causes and Consequences of Optimistic Time Predictions," in Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment, ed. T. Gilovich and D. Griffin (New York, NY, US: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 250-270.
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