If the economy continues to sag and indeed it really comes time to lay off large numbers of teachers this year, then I propose that policymakers administer a version of the "Marshmallow Test."
In the late 1960s, psychologist Walter Mischel performed a series of tests on preschoolers referred to as The Marshmallow Tests. Mischel would give a...
The marshmallow test is famous: Give a kid a marshmallow and see if he or she can show enough self-control to hold off eating it and, as a reward, enjoy a second. Its results have often be viewed as fatalistic — you either have self-control or you don’t. But nothing could be further from the truth says Walter Mischel, who designed the experiment 50 years ago. Paul Solman caught up with one student who learned how to delay gratification and, as a result, has a brighter future to look forward to.
Behavioral changes at the margin are the key to getting at the core of any goal. Learning how to delay even a minor gratification helps to build a mindset that can support ambitious personal objectives. It's never to late to teach yourself how to pass the marshmallow test.