The marshmallow test

In Widtsoe I made some awesome s’mores–with gigantic marshmallows. These big marshmallows are four times bigger than the regular ones, and I have to say, they are pretty grotesque. I can imagine one of them being big enough to roast me (as per the image). I think s’mores are one of those things that aren’t really that good, but they are traditional–you go camping, you gotta eat s’mores. In Zion National Park in the gift store I actually saw a s’more kit for about $15. It contained some chocolate bars, some graham crackers, and some marshmallows. Didn’t even have a bent wire hanger. I guess that’s better than this one for $23! I mean really, can’t somebody figure out how to go to the store to buy 3 things?

Anyway, marshmallows reminded me of an interesting experiment conducted by Walter Mischel. It was a pretty simple experiment. He had 4 year olds sit in a chair and gave them a marshmallow. He said they could eat it right then, but if they waited for him to come back, he would give them two marshmallows. It turns out that the ability to defer gratification is positively correlated with higher SAT scores. I wonder if I’d have eaten it as a four-year-old? I wonder how good I am now at delaying gratification? Not very good, sometimes. If you want to see some kids trying to not eat a marshmallow, just click here. Some of them have some very good tricks for distracting themselves.

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6 responses to “The marshmallow test

  1. haha! Loved the video. Hey, if you want me to show you how to embed a youtube video into your blog, let me know!

  2. I’d love to have you show me–did watching the video make you want to eat a marshmallow?–it did me!

  3. Chicago Soy Dairy makes really great jumbo vegan marhsmallows. I use them to make s’mores all the time.

    Just FYI 😉

    • You must still be vegan. I am lapsed, and now eat chicken (although I just finished a wonderful vegan lunch of hummus, pita bread and fruit ). Good for you–I salute you. But you make an excellent point–maybe some of those kids were vegan!

  4. I ate some of your leftover marshmallows. They were pretty intense. I left one for my dad.

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