Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Marshmallow Test

Have you heard of the marshmallow test? The directions are this:

You give a child a marshmallow and then tell them you have to leave the room for a bit. If he doesn't eat the marshmallow by the time you get back then he gets to eat TWO marshmallows.

After dinner one night I told William the rules, set the video camera and left the room. Below is his battle with temptation. At first I thought the video was going to be boring, but check out what happens around 1:15. Enjoy!


  1. I am very, very impressed with William. The marshmallow test was first used during the 1960s at Stanford University to measure a child's ability to delay gratification--as opposed to giving in to impulsive behavior. When the children were tracked 20 years later, the ones who were able to refrain from eating the marshmallows had higher SAT scores, less behavioral problems, better social relationships, less involvement with drugs, and lower body mass index (BMI).

    That William is headed for greatness! I smiled out loud at 1:15 when his temptation was the highest! We could all take a few lessons in will power from the little guy.

  2. I love the smile of gratification at the end.

    I have a feeling James would be licking his marshmallow, but wouldn't eat it. Magdalene I'm not so sure. Maybe I'll give it a go.

  3. Whoa! Good boy William! That discipline will pay off in big ways when you're bigger! ;) Cute.

  4. Oh, William!!! You are such a good little boy!! Mommy better give you the whole bag!! If she doesn't, Grandma will give you lots of treats when you come to visit next time. I love you!!

  5. "He's a boy, not a lab rat" - Brian Logue.

    Jenny - I thought it was cute!


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