I can resist everything except temptation (or marshmallows)

Have you heard of the marshmallow experiment? It is a pretty famous experiment conducted at Stanford back in the 60’s. Walter Mischel a psychologist conducted this experiment on four-year olds in which the children were given one marshmallow and promised a second marshmallow if only they could wait 20 minutes before eating the first one. Turns out that some children could and others couldn’t wait. Following up on this study Mischel and his collaborators found that those who waited were better adjusted, dependable and, on some measures, more successful than those who could not delay gratification. In fact they found that these children scored an average of 210 points higher on the SAT!!

You can read more about this experiment and its findings in this New Yorker article titled Don’t: The secret of self control.

I had read of this experiment a while ago, it had also been the focus of a recent RadioLab segment and then I began running across a video titled Oh, The Temptation. As the director describes it he used, 2 Hidden Cameras, A bunch of Kids, 1 Marshmallow each to create this movie. He agrees that this was “not an original idea, but very fun to make.” And it is great fun to watch…

Oh, The Temptation from Steve V on Vimeo.

1 Comment

  1. Thats a great Post and the Video is really good. I dont know if you have seen that on TED.com, there was a gread Ted Talk a while ago concerning that expereminent. It was mostly about gratification, but it featured some other funny moments from the video as well. Definately worth it, if i find the link i would be glad to post it, yet i am not one of the Kids that wait i guess=))

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