Who knew staring at a marshmallow could be so darn entertaining?
In this reprise of a well-known Stanford psychological experiment from the 1960s, kids are put in a room with a marshmallow and told they can either eat it immediately OR… if they are willing to wait while the researcher steps out for a few minutes, they can have an additional marshmallow when she returns.
In some states, I’m fairly certain this practice is referred to as “kiddie torture.”
As you will see in the video, the proper way to avoid the overwhelming temptation of a marshmallow is to smell it, hold it to your lips and/or “secretly” pick at it. (No one will ever know!)
Personally, I don’t find the marshmallow all that appealing. ON ITS OWN, that is. If it happened to reside next to a cup of piping hot cocoa, well… that marshmallow would certainly be my last.
What’s the purpose of this child abuse, you may be wondering. Well, in the semi-recent New Yorker article detailing the original experiment, researchers claim the ones who passed the marshmallow test enjoyed greater success (measured by employment, weight, drug history, etc.) as adults. Walter Mischel, the Stanford professor of psychology in charge of the experiment, said:
“What we’re really measuring with the marshmallows isn’t will power or self-control… It’s much more important than that. This task forces kids to find a way to make the situation work for them. They want the second marshmallow, but how can they get it? We can’t control the world, but we can control how we think about it.”
Yup, turns out, the ones that eat the marshmallow right away will invariably grow up to be unemployed crack addicts living under bridges. True story.[EatMeDaily via Laughing Stork Reader, Terry]