Short Term vs. Long Term Gratification

How difficult is it to hold back, to limit yourself and reject short term pleasure when you know that if you wait you’ll do even better?

Can some people naturally do this?  Do we have these controls, or lack thereof, built into us?

Take a look at the famous “Marshmallow Test” and see what these children do, how they act.

From Infogalactic:

The Stanford marshmallow experiment[1] was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by psychologist Walter Mischel, then a professor at Stanford University. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards (i.e., a larger later reward) if they waited for a short period, approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room and then returned. (The reward was sometimes a marshmallow, but often a cookie or a pretzel.) In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores,[2] educational attainment,[3] body mass index (BMI),[4] and other life measures.[5]

For today:

  1. After watching the video, please explain what you learned.
  2. How well did the presenter get the point across, and inform you what the “marshmallow test’ was?
  3. If you were doing your presentation on this topic, would you use this video?  Why or why not?

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