The Marshmallow Experiment

I was dying to test the famous Marshmallow Experiment which I encountered in most of the books I have read, most recently I read it in the beginning of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.

Once you realize that will power is just a matter of learning how to control your attention and thoughts, you can really begin to increase it.

Walter Mischel

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Basically in this test a child is given a choice that if he will have one Marshmallow right away or he would wait for another 10 minutes and have two instead. This experiment measures the child’s ability to store two thoughts at the same time. It measures if the child is able to hold his emotions and wait, which is also called Delayed Gratification. Children who had resisted not to eat the Marshmallow, in the beginning, are the ones who worked harder in the later part of their lives. Children who have shown signs of Delayed Gratification have been more successful than the ones who didn’t.

I have no idea what I would have chosen if given such a choice but I conducted this experiment on my cousin today and he showed signs of Delayed Gratification. I am quite happy with the result.

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