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One of the common maxims I’ve been hearing all my life is that people tend to be liberal when they are younger, but grow more conservative as they get older, have to work, pay taxes and prepare for retirement. I’ve said it myself more times than I can count, and I’ve found it to be largely true, at least through personal observation. But I also see claims going in the opposite direction.

It applies to more than politics, though. Movies, books, music… possibly even food. Do our tastes really change all that much as we age? And more to the point, do we ever really “stabilize” at some point in middle age or do we keep on evolving for our entire lives? There’s a pretty good article this weekend in the LA Times about studies done on this subject by Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert.

Pairing up future-focused predictors and backward-looking reporters — such that the predictions of 25-year-olds were compared to the recollections of 35-year-olds, for instance — the researchers found that people consistently acknowledged they had changed a lot in the past but underestimated how much they would change in the future. The results held true for each decade of life between ages 18 and 68.
Well i thought it was interesting.
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