Jul 10, 2011-- In the classic Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, researchers gave children a choice between one marshmallow right away, or two later. Most struggled to resist the treat and held out for less than three minutes. "A few kids ate the marshmallow right away," Walter Mischel, the Stanford professor in charge of the experiment, remembers. "They didn't even bother ringing the bell. Other kids would stare directly at the marshmallow and then ring the bell thirty seconds later." About 30% of the children, however, successfully delayed gratification until the researcher returned, some 15 minutes later. These kids wrestled with temptation but found a way to resist. The most interesting results came years later: children who waited fifteen minutes had SAT scores that were, on average, 210 points higher than those of those who waited only 30 seconds. This New Yorker article delves into the mental processes behind self-control. (11394 reads)
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