The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

Discounting the future

We have a tendency to discount the future in favour of today. Also known as ‘present bias’ people tend to focus on today rather than think about what tomorrow might bring, often spending now rather than saving for the future; our future self feels distant.

For example, we often choose to spend money in the moment as opposed to saving for a pension. Copywriters have long taken advantage of this human bias. Similarly, credit cards thrive thanks to the ‘Power of Now’. Shoppers can have what they want now by simply buying on credit.


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