Don't Eat the Marshmallow

In the 1960's, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel conducted what seemed to be an ordinary experiment: to see whether and/or how long children could refrain from eating a marshmallow in order to receive two marshmallows later.

Just about every kid gave in and ate the marshmallow, but some lasted more than others before giving in. Mischel followed up with his original subjects years later and came to realize that his seemingly trivial marshmallow experiment had become the greatest single predictor of future life success, from SAT scores to domestic and professional satisfaction. The key to this puzzle has to do with discipline, self control and will power.

Here is a hilarious taste of the experiment conducted on Colombian children:

RadioLab recently interviewed Professor Mischel about this fascinating story:

And because there is an important set of lessons here, and because I can't stop watching these kids' reactions, here is some more of this hilariousness:

I have a feeling I would have failed this test :)
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