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INTERESTING EXPERIMENT

This is very interesting to watch!

Gabi can eat one piece of candy now or two pieces later... Based on Walter Mischel’s Marshmallow experiment, in which four year-olds were offered a marshmallow, which they could eat if they wanted.

Self-control is the key to success

David Brooks, New York Times Service

May 2006

AROUND 1970, psychologist Walter Mischel launched a classic experiment. He left a succession of 4-year-olds in a room with a bell and a marshmallow. If they rang the bell, he would come back and they could eat the marshmallow. If, however, they didn’t ring the bell and waited for him to come back on his own, they could then have two marshmallows.

The children who waited longer went on to get higher SAT scores. They got into better colleges and had, on average, better adult outcomes. The children who rang the bell quickest were more likely to become bullies. They received worse teacher and parental evaluations 10 years later and were more likely to have drug problems at age 32.

The Mischel experiments, along with everyday experience, tell us that self-control is essential. Young people who can delay gratification can sit through sometimes boring classes to get a degree. They can perform rote tasks in order to, say, master a language. They can avoid drugs and alcohol. For people without self-control skills, however, school is a series of failed ordeals.Life is a parade of foolish decisions: teenage pregnancy, drug use, gambling, truancy and crime.

The good news is that while differences in the ability to delay gratification emerge early and persist, that ability can be improved with conscious effort. Moral lectures don’t work. Sheer willpower doesn’t seem to work either. The children who resisted eating the marshmallow didn’t stare directly at it and exercised iron discipline. On the contrary, they were able to resist their appetites because they were able to think about other things.

 

 

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