Is time travel something that humans someday will be able to achieve? Most Americans don't think so, but a sizeable minority — 39% — think someday humans will be able to travel through time.
If time travel were possible — and safe — most Americans would rather travel to the future than the past. 53% of Americans would prefer to visit the future, while just 40% would prefer to visit the past.
But for those with more of a past themselves, traveling to the past has more appeal. While about 6 in 10 Americans under 50 would rather visit the future, older Americans are almost as likely to want to travel to the past.
And for Americans who think of themselves as conservative, the past holds at least as much appeal as the future: 44% of conservatives would prefer to visit the future, though 47% would prefer to visit the past.
This poll was conducted by telephone March 23-28, 2021 among a random sample of 1,009 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cellphones.
The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.
Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.