Kids and the Marshmallow Test

The Marshmallow test was a test conducted in the 1960s by Dr. Walter Mischel of Standford University. Four-year olds were given a marshmallow and asked to sit in front of it for twenty minutes. If they were able to do this, at the twenty-minute mark, a researcher would give them a second marshmallow and they could eat both. The researchers then followed the students for several decades, noting that those children who had not eaten their marshmallow immediately were more likely to be independent-minded adolescents and successful adults. Those who ate the marshmallow immediately required instant gratification, and thus were unable to hold out for future rewards that would be more significant.


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