Tuesday, April 17, 2007

From the Office: Delayed Gratification, à la Marshmallows

Research projects at Wired have me constantly coming across a diverse and bizarre array of information; some of it fascinating, some of it geeky, most of it just downright strange. I feel like these blips of information are worth sharing mostly for their anectodal value, hence the start of this soon-to-be recurring feature.

From What is Emotional Intelligence, Cary Cherniss:

We also should keep in mind that cognitive and non-cognitive abilities are very much related. In fact, there is research suggesting that emotional and social skills actually help improve cognitive functioning. For instance, in the famous "marshmallow studies" at Stanford University, four year olds were asked to stay in a room alone with a marshmallow and wait for a researcher to return. They were told that if they could wait until the researcher came back before eating the marshmallow, they could have two. Ten years later the researchers tracked down the kids who participated in the study. They found that the kids who were able to resist temptation had a total SAT score that was 210 points higher than those kids who were unable to wait.


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