Studies by Carstensen and Knutson (Stanford) cited in news on saving for the future self
"In fact, neurological studies have found that our brain activity when thinking about the future self closely resembles the thought patterns which our brains conjure when thinking about other people. As such, we feel okay pushing the pain of these decisions off to this person because we are not connected with the future version of ourselves.
This disconnection between the current you and the future you could partially explain why Americans don't save enough for retirement. Why save for someone to whom you don't feel connected?
Conversely, those who perceive a closer continuity or connection with their future selves were more likely to set money aside for their future needs. A 2017 study by the Institute for the Future found that the majority of Americans (53%) rarely or never think about what life will be like in 30 years. As such, these individuals are not all that likely to feel a sense of connectedness with their future self."