Why Rich Kids Are So Good at the Marshmallow Test - The Atlantic
Does the Marshmallow Test really show your ability to delay gratification? A new study says: Maybe not.
In the original Stanford Marshmallow Test, a researcher placed a marshmallow in front of the child, roughly aged 4-5, and promised that the child could have one marshmallow now, or he could wait for 15 minutes and have two marshmallows then. The study seemed to show, after following the children for a number of years, that the children who could wait to eat more marshmallows later, were more successful in life than the children who did not wait.
But in this new study, which looked at a much wider sample of participants, controls for family background and home environment produced far less significant results.
The Atlantic tells us all about it.
"The failed replication of the marshmallow test does more than just debunk the earlier notion; it suggests other possible explanations for why poorer kids would be less motivated to wait for that second marshmallow. For them, daily life holds fewer guarantees: There might be food in the pantry today, but there might not be tomorrow, so there is a risk that comes with waiting. And even if their parents promise to buy more of a certain food, sometimes that promise gets broken out of financial necessity.
"Meanwhile, for kids who come from households headed by parents who are better educated and earn more money, it’s typically easier to delay gratification: Experience tends to tell them that adults have the resources and financial stability to keep the pantry well stocked."
All in all, the results are not surprising.
photo: Emilija Manevska / Getty via The Atlantic