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.