The experiment or marshmallow test is a study of the field of psychology conducted by scientists Walter Mischel and Ebbe B. Ebbesen during the 1970s at Stanford University in the United States.
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The results of the studies associated the resistance to consume candy to the development of certain essential life skills, such as self-control and improved performance in tests.
How does the Marshmallow Test work?
The experiment brings together a series of studies in psychology and was applied to children with the aim of evaluating the willpower or ability of little ones to give up the satisfaction of an immediate pleasure in exchange for a future reward.
The dynamics of the test consists of taking the child to a space where there is a table full of candies, cookies, chocolates and all kinds of sweets, such as the marshmallow, responsible for the test’s fame.
Soon after, the researchers present a proposal for the child: if she managed to wait in the room alone, for fifteen minutes, without eating any sweets, after everyone returned to the room she would get two. However, if the child asked to leave the room before the stipulated period or if he ate the candy, the double reward was not applied.
Willpower and success
The results of the experiments led researchers to associate willpower and self-control with success. That’s because psychologists followed children for a few decades and made interesting discoveries, such as the improvement in academic performance by those who knew how to wait for the double reward.
In addition to the improvement in studies, research shows that delaying immediate pleasure had an effect in other areas of children’s lives, such as better and happier relationships, less involvement with narcotics and crime, a lower level of obesity and more effective stress management.
Importance of self-control
The Marshmallow test makes it clear that self-control can be beneficial to our lives. Thus, it is important to learn to manage your emotions, build long-term plans and not get carried away by the satisfaction of immediate pleasure. This posture can result in a happier life in a healthier body.