Identity Over Time: Perceived Similarity Between Selves Predicts Well-Being 10 Years Later

Joseph S. Reiff, Hal E. Hershfield, Jordi Quoidbach

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

13 Cites (Scopus)


When individuals feel similar to their future self, they are more likely to delay present gratification and make plans for the long run. But do these feelings of similarity actually correspond with heightened well-being for the future self? Theoretically, making patient decisions in the present could lead to a future self who is better off and thus more satisfied. Alternatively, perceived overlap with the future self could cause people to continually deny themselves pleasures in the present, diminishing satisfaction over time. To adjudicate between these possibilities, we use a 10-year longitudinal data set (N = 4,963) to estimate how thoughts about one’s future self in an initial survey predict life satisfaction 10 years later. Controlling for initial life satisfaction, greater perceived similarity to the future self is linearly associated with greater life satisfaction 10 years after the original prediction, a finding that is robust to a number of alternative analyses.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)160-167
Nombre de pàgines8
RevistaSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de març 2020
Publicat externament


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