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View Poll Results: Would you have passed the Marshmallow Test?

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  • Yes

    11 61.11%
  • No

    1 5.56%
  • Undecided

    6 33.33%
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  1. #1
    Phantonym
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    Default The Marshmallow Test and Self-Control

    In the late 1960's an experiment was conducted with the goal to identify the mental processes that allowed some people to delay gratification while others surrendered.

    Kids were asked to sit alone in a room and given one marshmallow. They were made an offer: either to eat that one marshmallow right away or wait a few minutes until the researcher comes back and then they could have another. In the original test they had a bell and if they rang it, the researcher would come back but the kid would only get one marshmallow.

    Here's a video of the test being repeated:

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWW1vpz1ybo"]Kids & the Marshmallow Test[/YOUTUBE]

    And here's an article about the original test in the 1960s and the subsequent research - The secret of self-control : The New Yorker

    A few excerpts from the article:

    /.../ the children who rang the bell quickly, seemed more likely to have behavioral problems, both in school and at home. They got lower S.A.T. scores. They struggled in stressful situations, often had trouble paying attention, and found it difficult to maintain friendships. The child who could wait fifteen minutes had an S.A.T. score that was, on average, two hundred and ten points higher than that of the kid who could wait only thirty seconds. /.../

    /.../ 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. /.../

    /.../ At the time, psychologists assumed that children’s ability to wait depended on how badly they wanted the marshmallow. But it soon became obvious that every child craved the extra treat. What, then, determined self-control? Mischel’s conclusion, based on hundreds of hours of observation, was that the crucial skill was the “strategic allocation of attention.” Instead of getting obsessed with the marshmallow—the “hot stimulus”—the patient children distracted themselves by covering their eyes, pretending to play hide-and-seek underneath the desk, or singing songs from “Sesame Street.” Their desire wasn’t defeated—it was merely forgotten. “If you’re thinking about the marshmallow and how delicious it is, then you’re going to eat it,” Mischel says. “The key is to avoid thinking about it in the first place.

    In adults, this skill is often referred to as metacognition, or thinking about thinking, and it’s what allows people to outsmart their shortcomings. /.../


    Thinking back, would you have passed the Marshmallow Test as a kid?

  2. #2
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    I would have passed, out of sheer will. Or, if real hunger was involved, discreetly hollowed out the middle and left the visible part intact.

    Those little guys are so freaking adorable. I loved the kid who was making mouth noises and thumping his temples!



    Redheaded tiny girl at the end didn't even get the concept...poor girlie. I think the results may have been skewed a bit by listening comprehension ability.
    I think I think more than you think I think.

  3. #3
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    This is VERY interesting. Thanks for posting.

    I remember having to hold back urges to eat sweet things like this, like my mom telling me to leave her half of a candy bar or something, and I'd be able to do it every time. But having it sit there right in front of me, I dunno. I of course want to say that I could (I probably could ) but I don't know for sure.

    You make me wanna go back in time to see.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  4. #4
    Phantonym
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    I would have passed, out of sheer will. Or, if real hunger was involved, discreetly hollowed out the middle and left the visible part intact.
    Ingenious!

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    You make me wanna go back in time to see.
    Yes, that's what I'd like to do as well.

    I voted undecided. I can't really remember that specifically what I was like as a child and how patient would I have been. It could have been either way.

  5. #5
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    I would have passed this test. Simply because I would have wanted to prove myself worthy of doing such a task and not really because of getting another marshmallow. I used to get really happy when I was praised as a child. This was a very nice test. Thank you for sharing Sky!

  6. #6
    Twerking & Lurking ayoitsStepho's Avatar
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    Lol. That little blonde boy was fighting a real war inside. lol.

    What if you don't like marshmellows?
    In that case I would've won

    lol
    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
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  7. #7
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    Thinking back to how I saw the world at that age. I'd wonder why the guy thought marshmellows were so valuable. One, two, none, I don't get why it's a big deal. They already gave me one, I'll just eat that and be happy with it.

  8. #8
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circle View Post
    Thinking back to how I saw the world at that age. I'd wonder why the guy thought marshmellows were so valuable. One, two, none, I don't get why it's a big deal. They already gave me one, I'll just eat that and be happy with it.
    Yep.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  9. #9
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Yes. I didn't like marshmellows as a kid, unless they were roasted. I never really minded delaying gratification either. That was a cute video!
    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

  10. #10
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    It would have depended on how much I wanted the marshmellow in front of me, compared to how much I wanted the extra one, and whether I would have felt proud of myself for waiting.

    Very mood dependent.

    I'm actually very good at delaying gratification, though... In fact, I'm too good at it, to the point that I'm biased towards inaction and think being in the moment is a sign of immaturity.

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