Saturday, 25 October 2008

marshmallows temptation

The Marshmallow Experiments Go High Tech

So, do any of you remember the famous Mischel experiments from the 60's about pre-schoolers and impulse control?

This was the one where a 4 year old was put alone in a room with a marshmallow. The kid could either choose to eat the marshmallow, or could resist temptation and wait until an adult returned, in which case the reward was two marshmallows.

Some kids were able to wait up to 20 minutes for their reward; others caved and ate the marshmallow in front of them in less than a minute.(You probably know which kid you would have been).The fascinating thing was: they followed these kids, and the ones who could Master the Marshmallow? They were way more successful in other areas of life as they grew older. The longer a kid could hold out, the better his or her grades, SAT scores, social skills, etc. were.

Marshmallow Mastery skills are very important in life, apparently, and science is hard at work figuring out how to improve them.

Because now, according to a fascinating article in the Boston Globe, they're getting neuroscientists involved and using brain imaging techniques to examine these "kids"--now in their 40's. They can actually see particular areas of the brain light up when people hold out or give in to temptation, and they want to figure out how to train people to be disciplined, successful Two-Marshmallow Achievers instead of lame, impulsive, One-Marshmallow Losers.

original entry here

dale carnegie always said in his books that what we want to do asap is usually the wrong thing. so it's true. enlightening

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