Is The Marshmallow Test A Myth?

3. Discovering Gratification

Hispanic woman cheering on scale
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Recent research out of the University of Chicago offers a new perspective on the Marshmallow Test. These findings suggest delayed rewards (for example, wanting to lose weight) motivates setting long-term goals. Immediate rewards (weekly weigh-ins) fuel the persistence to reach the long-term goal. This is congruent with Mischel’s findings which he says really were not about “delaying gratification” but learning how children employ self-control measures. That is, what strategies did they use to keep themselves from eating that first marshmallow? (Strategies included singing songs, turning toes into piano keys, and nose picking.) Nick Tasler sums up the similarities among all the experiments quite succinctly: It’s “not about delaying gratification. It is about discovering gratification in every situation.” What would you do in the next situation? Read below…


4. Would You Follow Orders?

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Would you follow orders from an authority figure if it meant you had to hurt or kill another human being? Yes or no?