Despite the popularity of horoscopes, most people don’t really want to know their futures, a new study from Europe suggests. That’s particularly true if future events are negative, such as the person’s death, the study found.
The research, which surveyed more than 2,000 adults in Germany and Spain, found that 85 to 90 percent of participants said they wouldn’t want to know about certain future negative events in their lives, and 40 to 70 percent said they wouldn’t want to know about certain future positive events.
Just 1 percent of participants always said that they wanted to know what the future held for them.
“In Greek mythology, Cassandra, daughter of the king of Troy, had the power to foresee the future. But, she was also cursed, and [so] no one believed her prophecies,” study author Gerd Gigerenzer, of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, said in a statement.
“In our study, we’ve found that people would rather decline the powers that made Cassandra famous, in an effort to forgo the suffering that knowing the future may cause, avoid regret and also maintain the enjoyment of suspense that pleasurable events provide,” Gigerenzer said. [ 7 Things That Will Make You Happy ]
Participants were asked whether, hypothetically, they would want to know about 10 future events, which ranged from serious to mundane. These included: when they or their partner would die, what they would die of, whether they would get divorced , what they were getting for Christmas, and the outcome of a soccer game they were going to watch.