A new study from Nature’s Scientific Reports journal reveals that people from wealthier countries are more interested about the future, as reflected by Google Trends.
By checking the collective search engine queries (or Google Trends, to put it simply) and comparing them with the per-capita gross domestic product of 45 countries, UCL researchers came up with the conclusion that information seeking regarding the future is positively correlated to a higher per capita GDP. (r = 0.78, df = 43, p < 0.001)
So how did the researchers come up with this future orientation index? Say the year of study was in 2010. Queries were grouped if it ‘belonged’ to a certain year, which can be a year in the past (2009) or in the future (2011). The research looks simplistic and can be interpreted in different ways, but the findings make sense.
The researchers recommend that the index be further compared with other socio-economic measures for a more comrephensive study about the correlation.
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