Marshmallow Test: Power of Delayed Gratification

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The Marshmallow test was designed by a professor named Walter Mischel at Stanford University, who began conducting a series of important psychological studies.

The experiment starts by bringing each child into a private room, making them sit on a chair, and placing a marshmallow on the table in front of them.

At this point, the researchers give the kids a deal.

The researcher told the child that he was going to leave the room and if the child did not eat the marshmallow while he was away, then the kids would be rewarded with a second marshmallow. However, if the child decided to eat the first marshmallow before the researcher came back in, then they would not get a second marshmallow.

If they want the second treat they have to wait for it.

The researchers were out of the room for 15 minutes.

Some kids jumped on to the first marshmallow as soon as the researcher closed the door. Others wiggled and wobbled and squirmed in their chairs as they tried to hold back. But eventually gave in to temptation a few minutes later. And finally, only a few children did manage to wait the entire time.

This popular study became what it is now known as, The Marshmallow Experiment which got published in 1972, but it wasn’t the treat that made it famous. It was the outcome of the study.

Delayed Gratification

As the years passed by and the kids grew up,

The researchers performed follow up studies and tracked each child’s progress in a number of areas. What they found out was Amazing.

The children who were willing to wait to receive the second marshmallow, they all ended up having higher SAT scores, lower levels of substance abuse, lower level of obesity, better response to stress, better social skills as reported by their parents, and generally better scores in a range of other life ordeals.

The researchers followed each child for more than 40 years, the group who waited patiently for the second marshmallow succeed in whatever they did. Which means, this series of experiments proved that the ability to delay gratification was critical for success in life.
The study above does make one thing clear: if you want to succeed at something, at some point you will have to find the ability to be disciplined and take action instead of becoming preoccupied and doing what’s easy. Success in every field requires you to ignore doing something which is easy, for in favour of doing something harder.

The main point here is that even if you don’t feel like you’re good at delaying gratification at present. But, you can train yourself to become better simply by making a few small improvisations. In the case of the children in the study, the researcher delivered whatever they had promised.

Patience is the Key for anything and everything you do.

Also, read about 5 Most Disturbing Science Experiments In History

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