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UBC-DIBS Seminar f. Hal Hershfield (Feb 9)

Hal Hershfield will share the body of research that informs his new book “Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today” […]

UBC-DIBS Behavioural Insights Seminar

Friday, Feb. 9, 1-2pm PT
Register to attend on Zoom at

Connecting to Our Future Selves:
How to Make Tomorrow Better Today

Hal Hershfield
University of California, Los Angeles

Consumers regularly “mess up” choices with consequences over time. We choose steak over vegetables at dinner, waving off concerns about high cholesterol. We splurge on luxury cars rather than save for retirement. And we prioritize the urgent over the important, failing to create a balnce between today and tomorrow. Why are so many of us so disconnected from our future selves? In this talk, I review a body of work that suggests that one reason for this failure has to do with the way that we think of our future selves, and how we ultimately relate to them. I explain how, in our minds, our future selves often look like strangers. Many of us view the future as distant, making us more likely to opt for immediate gratification that disregards the health and wellbeing of ourselves in the years to come. People who are able to connect with their future selves, however, are better able to balance living for today and planning for tomorrow. I will describe the mental mistakes we make in thinking about the future, and offer evidence-based advice for smoothing out utility over time. 

The UBC-DIBS Behavioural Insights Seminar series features researchers and practitioners sharing their field and lab projects using the behavioural and decision sciences to “nudge for good”. Recordings of past seminars are available on the BI wiki here. To subscribe or unsubscribe, email

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