Research Indicates Collective Mental Time Travel Influences the Future
How we perceive the past and future impact our behaviors and collective decisions in the present
As we talked about before, mental time travel is assumed to be an ability shared by all humans—and many other animals. But humans are social creatures, and if we can all independently mentally time travel, is it possible to do it as a collective? Yup, we sure can.
After all, when we feel the urge, we act with an almost hivemind intensity to achieve whatever monumental, previously unbelievable accomplishments—or catastrophes — we set our sights on. But considering all of this, researchers now want to know what kind of influence collective mind travel could have on society.
Solo Mind Traveling
A common theme in my writing is that we live in a world made of opposites — love and hate, left and right, chaos and order — and if you think about it, our very existence is ripe with duality. For example, while your body remains stuck in the physical world, your mind isn’t.
Remembering yesterday or planning for next week probably feels mundane, but it’s actually pretty flipping cool because it means we can mentally mind travel. Today we may use it for scheduling purposes, but this ability evolved to help keep us alive — remembering past events helps us predict and plan for the future.
We still have plenty to learn, but researchers have made pretty good headway in understanding not only why we do it but also how and where mental time travel happens in the brain. Researchers also have a pretty good indication of how mental time travel influences our present behaviors and decisions. I’ve written about all of this before, but now experts have taken their research a step further to analyze not just individual but collective mental time travel. They’ve found that collective mind travel doesn’t just exist—it shapes our future.
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