Are You Biased Towards the Present?

A paper published by the UK Government’s Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology provides a useful reminder that people do not always/often make rational decisions, and that one of the reasons for the irrationality is a bias for the present.

In short this means that we put off or never do things that are in our own best interest simply because we see the pay-off being to far away in the future.  Hence we stay fat and smoke – because any benefits of giving up won’t be experienced for ages.

It transpires that the poorer you are the more likely you are to show this bias for the present over the future.

This bias would seem to be important for enterprise professionals to :

  • recognise,
  • understand and
  • overcome

Any tips you want to share for helping cleints overcome their bias towards the present?

You can read the full OST paper on Delaying Gratification here.

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