The Marshmallow Test

These results hold even when adjusted for individual intelligence, social class and their home environments. Kids with low levels of self-control are more likely as adolescents to smoke, leave school early and have unplanned babies. As young adults they’re more likely to have health problems, money issues and criminal records. The study, so far, has only reached their early thirties, so what they’ll look like as old people is as yet unknown: but a good guess is that more of them will die younger than their better controlled cohort.

Leaving aside all of the implications for this it’s worth standing back from the research and thinking quite hard about what this means. That this simple test, applied to your four year old, is strikingly predictive of their future life chances is quite extraordinary when you consider the confusion and lack of coherence in most of the findings of psychology and economics.

The Marshmallow Test – Psy-Fi blog

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