After you read the findings of the Stanford marshmallow test, you might want to give a version of it to your own little kid.
As you may already know, the marshmallow test is a legendary experiment invented by Mr. Walter Mischel nearly 50 years ago. It originally took place at the Bing Nursery School located at Stanford University in 1970. The preschool kids were offered the option of having one marshmallow immediately or two marshmallows 15 minutes later.
While the original purpose of the study was to understand when self-control develops in children, the follow-up studies showed more interesting findings. Being able to wait longer at age four had some pretty powerful implications. Later in life, those who waited longer did better on their SAT tests than the ones who couldn’t wait. They were thinner, earned more advanced degrees, had better relationships, coped better with stress and were less likely to have drug addictions.
A very simple way of measuring a competence seems to make a critical life difference. Self-control is a very important skill and the studies show that this skill can be taught and learned at any age. It’s never too late to build self-discipline and pursue our life goals.
For more information, you can watch the experiment on youtube and read the recent New York Times article about the Marshmallow test and its creator Mr. Walter Mischel.