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Science Says You’ll Probably Regret Your Next Decision

From palm readers to ouija boards, humans have long tried to predict the future. Too bad we’re terrible at it.

How satisfied will you be with your life in the future? A study posed that question to 3,793 American adults ages 27 to 74, then asked them again roughly a decade later. 48 percent of participants overestimated their life satisfaction, while 22 percent underestimated it. According to Andrew Reed, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford’s Lifespan Development Lab, the findings are consistent with a larger truth about future forecasting, one that comes up in study after study: We’re terrible at predicting how our decisions will make us feel.

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Infographic: Foursquare's 3,400 Percent Growth and Other Wild Stats

Foursquare created a year in review of check-ins, from top 3 train stations and wine bars, to the number of Wendys that are mayors of a Wendy's.


Foursquare had a break-out year in 2010. The location sharing game-style app grew 3,400 percent. And just last week it landed its six millionth user. Being the new media savvy folk that they are, Foursquare made an infographic to mark the occasion (a more concrete sign of success, perhaps, than the founders being asked to pose in a Gap ad).

The graphic below is a kind of year in review of check-in statistics. There has been a check-in in every country, even North Korea. The most check-ins for a single event happened at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, more than 30,000 of them.

Business implications of 3,400 percent yearly user growth aside, what this infographic really shows is that Foursquare is amassing valuable social data that they can sell, like who is going to what movies and when, and useful general information, like that MLK day is a huge movie watching day, up there with July 4 and Christmas—at least for the tech savvy, early adopting Foursquare crowd.

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