Most people wouldn't give thousands of dollars to a stranger, sight unseen. Unfortunately, that's exactly how 56% of adults see their future selves, according to Prudential Retirement: as strangers.
"As an individual, you really don't have the capacity in your brain to connect to the person you are going to be 20, 30, 40 years in the future," said Jennifer Putney, vice president of participant engagement.
Prudential calls the idea "longevity disconnect bias," and it can present a problem for people saving for their retirement. They see it reflected in the 2016 Prudential Challenge quiz, where a little more than half of its 48,000 respondents said, "I might live how long?" when asked to articulate their reluctance to save.
Behavioral science researchers tested the longevity disconnect theory by showing people photos of their own faces, "aged up" with photo-manipulation software. In response, the subjects' brains responded as though they were looking at strangers.