The study took place in the late 60’s and early 1970’s, led by Walter Mischel, who was at that time a professor of psychology at Stanford University.A1 Children (4–6 years old) were left with a marshmallow and told that if they didn’t eat the marshmallow and waited for the experimenter to return in about 15 minutes, they would get two marshmallows (the original one plus another). The simple choice was between a small reward immediately (if the child ate the marshmallow before the experimenter returned) or a greater reward if the child waited for 15 minutes. Of 600 children that participated in the experiments, a minority ate the marshmallow immediately and of those that tried to wait for the fifteen minutes, one third of them succeeded in getting the second marshmallow. It was reported that age had a lot to do with the ability to wait for the larger reward.
The Difference Between Those Who Waited And Those Who Didn’t
|J. Adam Fenster / University of Rochester|