The Marshmallow Experiment
posted on September 14 2016
Wait here with this marshmallow for a few minutes. If you don't eat it you'll get a second marshmallow. Weighing up instant gratification versus strategic thinking... hmm what would your child do? Below is a video of kiddies undergoing the experiment, it's both cringe and funny. And what the results say about human nature is quite interesting!
In 1960, the first Marshmallow Test was conducted at Stanford University by psychologists Walter Mischel and Ebbe B. Ebbesen. The purpose of the original study was to understand how deferred gratification develops in children. They assessed this by offering children aged four to six a choice between one marshmallow, or two marshmallows if they waited for approximately 15 minutes.
When the researchers conducted follow up studies 18 years later, they found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI),and other life measures.
The study was replicated more recently and captured in a funny video (below). Over 4 million people have watched it.
Some of our toys promote strategic thinking in children by working through math and science concepts during play. Here's some examples...
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