Magazine article Work & Family Life

'Do You Want One Marshmallow Now or Two Marshmallows Later?'

Magazine article Work & Family Life

'Do You Want One Marshmallow Now or Two Marshmallows Later?'

Article excerpt

In a famous research project that Dr. Walter Mischel, now at Columbia University, started in the 1960's, four-year olds were asked whether they wanted one marshmallow now or two marshmallows later. Then the experimenter left the room. The children who wanted two marshmallows waited until the experimenter returned (15 minutes), but if they didn't want to wait, they could ring a bell and bring her back. To watch a video of this experiment, go to www.mindinthemaking.org.

Sounds simple, but this study has had dramatic findings over time. As the children grew up, those who waited longer for their marshmallows were also able to pursue their academic and other goals more successfully-with less frustration and with less distraction.

As adults, the children who were able to wait longer achieved a higher educational level, were less likely to engage in bullying behavior and had less drug use. …

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