Saturday, April 23, 2005

Stanford Marshmallow Study

Stanford Marshmallow Study

Stanford University psychology researcher Michael Mischel demonstrated how important self-discipline (the ability to delay immediate gratifiction in exchange for long term goal achievement) is to lifelong success. In a longitudinal study which began in the 1960s, he offered hungry 4-year-olds a marshmallow, but told them that if they could wait for the experimenter to return after running an errand, they could have two marshmallows.

Those who could wait the fifteen or twenty minutes for the experimenter to return would be demonstrating the ability to delay gratification and control impulse.
About one-third of of the children grabbed the single marshmallow right away while some waited a little longer, and about one-third were able to wait 15 or 20 minutes for the researcher to return.

Years later when the children graduated from high school, the differences between the two groups were dramatic: . . .


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