The Marshmallow Study
I’m having a rather significant birthday right around now. Given my advanced age, you’d expect me to behave with more maturity than I did last week when I got an advance birthday gift from my friend Valerie. I promised to save it for the actual B-day, and then I sprinted to the car and ripped off the tissue even before I’d buckled up. (It was a beautiful scarf–thanks V!)
A few days later I saw a video of a study in which children, one after the next, are seated at a table with a marshmallow placed in front of them. A lady tells them they’ll be left alone for a time, and that if they can resist eating the marshmallow, they’ll get to eat two marshmallows upon her return. In the video, you see children exercising varying levels of restraint, from squirmy resistance to instant caving.
The researchers posited that the kids who were best able to postpone gratification were more likely to be successful later in later life. But if I’d been one of the subjects, I’d have fooled all those smug, marshmallow-hugging scientists. I’d have been a model of restraint, breezing through to a double portion, but only be because I don’t like marshmallows. (If they’d put a Junior Mint on the plate I’d have been toast.)
They’d have had me pegged as the next Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Beyonce. (My husband would’ve preferred the latter.) Instead, of course, I grew up to be just another tissue-tearing marshmallow-hater.
Click here to see the video of the Marshmallow Study. (Luckily YouTube has no humiliating footage of me ripping Valerie’s wrapping.) And if you’re having a really immature moment, check out this video, which also features a marshmallow.
P.S. Whether you are a marshmallow-hater or -hugger, you will love Scotchmallows: check ’em out.