The Marshmallow Test By Walter Mischel
In the late 1960s, a Stanford professor, Walter Mischel, conducted several psychological studies. One of his studies was the Marshmallow Experiment. In this study, Mischel and his fellow graduate students placed children in rooms, individually, and presented each child with a marshmallow. He then offered a deal to them. The deal was if the child would wait the allotted time before eating the marshmallow, he/she would be given a second marshmallow, which the child would then be able to enjoy. However, nothing would happen if the child would not wait. The goal of this experiment was to test the child’s ability to delay gratification. Over the last fifty years, the Marshmallow Test became synonymous with temptation, willpower, …show more content…
The first step was to find a group of children from the Bing Nursery School at Stanford. Once the group was made, each child was placed in a room alone. Next, the researcher placed a marshmallow on the table in front of the child. Then, the child was offered a deal; either wait fifteen minutes before eating the marshmallow, and then be given another marshmallow, which presented delayed gratification, or eat the marshmallow immediately. Some of the children ate the marshmallow immediately, whereas others waiting an average of four times longer before eating the marshmallow, and finally, a group of children were able to wait the allotted time and receive a second marshmallow (“40 years of Stanford Research found that people with this One quality are more likely to succeed,” 2014).
Long Term Effects Around forty years later, the researchers followed up with the individuals who took part in the experiment. They found that those who were able to wait the allotted time generally did better in life. Some examples of their achievements are higher SAT scores, lower levels of substance abuse, lower rate of obesity, better responses to stress, better social skills, et cetera (“The Hidden Benefits of Delayed Gratification,” n.d.). The researchers were then able to conclude that the ability to delay gratification is critical for success in life (Staub, 2016).
Delayed Gratification / Immediate