We Don't Want to Know the Future


A song taken from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, sung by Doris Day in 1956, sums up most peoples’ attitude about the future.

“Que Sera, Sera,Whatever will be, will beThe future's not ours, to seeQue Sera, SeraWhat will be, will be.”

It turns out, even if we could, we don’t want to know what the future holds.  The American Psychological Association looked at responses from a couple thousand people in two foreign countries as to whether they would like to know their future.

Up to 90% said they don’t want to know about anything negative on the horizon, and according to Dr. Asim Shah, a professor and vice chair for community psychiatry in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, that leaves us more comfortable living in the dark.  “People like the element of surprises,” he tells KTRH News.  “Knowing the future will make life too monotonous, and without any surprises, it will be too dull.”  Up to 70% of respondents also said they don’t want to know about positive things in their future.  “The reason for that is that most people like to live in a fantasy or imaginary situation,” says Dr. Shah.

Only 1% of people consistently say they want to know about the future.


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