One of our natural cognitive biases is to treat our future selves as strangers.

The more we think in this way, the less self-control we are likely to exhibit (we might be reluctant to save money, or we exercise less).

And our choices are less likely to be pro-social (that is, choices that are good for the world in the long-term, like combatting climate change).

This has several names I think and one is called temporal discounting:

“Temporal discounting (also known as delay discounting, time discounting, time preference) is the tendency of people to discount rewards as they approach a temporal horizon in the future or the past (i.e., become so distant in time that they cease to be valuable or to have additive effects).

Source: Wikipedia

It’s all very well and good to understand that we suffer from this cognitive limitation, but what do we do about it?

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