Delayed Gratification Essay

2219 Words Jan 20th, 2013 9 Pages
Delayed Gratification
Angela Chang, Helen Lee, Ching Yang

Background Research Summary
Why should people be able to postpone their desire? Desire is a sense of hoping for something. Scientists have discovered that if people could control their inner desire, they would be more likely to have self-discipline, higher SAT scores and are more successful. Delayed gratification is a person’s ability to control his/her desire for something for a period of time.
The Marshmallow Experiment conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel of Stanford University in 1972. This experiment tests the self-control that develops in children age four to six. The experimenter does not tell the children when they will come back to reward each of them another
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Variables and Group
Independent Variable: looking at first marshmallow and wait for ten minutes
Dependent Variable: the ability to postpone their desire to eat the first marshmallow in order to get the second marshmallow
Constant Variable: the marshmallow, the time, the surrounding, the temperature
Experimental Group: know how much time they have to wait to get the second marshmallow
Control Group: did not know how much time they need to wait to get the second marshmallow
10 male and 6 female

Testing Circumstances
Participants will be tested in group of two. Experimental group will be able to know how much time left to wait. Control group will not be allowed to know how much how much time left to wait.

What Will Be Measured
The effect of knowing how much time left has on experimental group’s ability of delayed gratification.

It will take about 10 minutes to test on each participant.

Materials * A pack of marshmallow * 40 plates * 40 children * Camera * Timer

Procedure 1) Led each child to a certain classroom. 2) Put a marshmallow on a plate in front of the child. 3) Tell him or her (the first group), “Here’s a deal. Here’s a marshmallow. You can either wait, and I’ll bring you another one when I come back, so you will have two, or you can eat it now, but you can’t have another one. Okay, so I’ll be back.” 4)

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